We are pulled in so many directions, often not knowing where to turn next. No one could have predicted this quarantine, a lockdown. Lockdowns are usually associated with a punishment while in prison, but this one is meant to save our lives. Most of us are hunkered down in our houses, but what do you do when you have no home?
In the best of times the homeless struggle with life. It’s scary out there, exposed to the elements. They seldom get a good night's sleep, which leads to exhaustion and an inability to cope with everyday tasks that we take for granted. Enter the COVID-19 pandemic. The streets are cleared and the few people that are out are wearing masks. There is a tangible tension in the air. The homeless are only able to catch pieces of what is going on and without TVs or newspapers they are dependent on rumors. Many are fearful, but just as many think it’s a hoax and ignore all of the craziness that is going on around them. Either way it is affecting them. Most of the community lunches are shut down, the biweekly showers have ended, the laundromats are locked and the recycling centers are closed, drying up their income.
Recognizing this desperate situation, HART has distributed informational street sheets to help inform the homeless of how they can better protect themselves and those in our community. We have joined with the City and police department to strategize how to best protect this vulnerable population. How do you comply with a shelter in place order when you have no home? HART’s mission is to take care of their basic needs, with food being of the highest priority. With the help of a team of volunteers, a meal delivery program has been quickly implemented. In spite of many challenges, it has been working beautifully to deliver daily meals to Elk Grove’s homeless. We are happy to report that so far, our homeless are healthy and very appreciative of the care being shown to them by our community.
HART is grateful to have this opportunity to show compassion when it is needed the most. We don't expect to ‘cure’ all homelessness, but what we do recognize is that people need to be given the opportunity to change. Showing them care and compassion is a great way to help gain their trust and demonstrate that we only want the best for them.
Please join us in being part of the solution by donating on the Big Day of Giving, May 7th. You can go to https://www.bigdayofgiving.org/elkgrovehart to give now.
It is rare to be able to give to an all-volunteer organization where 100% of your donation goes back into Elk Grove. Thank you for your generosity!