Austin, Texas has a very large homeless population. The majority of the bars and clubs are within walking distance of The ARCH, the Austin homeless shelter. Many panhandle, and I’ve even seen a couple set up shop looking for change at a drive thru only Wendy’s across the highway from the clubs.
Earlier today my wife was watching a documentary about homeless women having a difficult time sourcing items like pads and tampons due to cost and a shelters not stocking sufficient supplies. Instead of a couple bucks, why not make supply kits in gallon bags to hand out? Label the bags for men or women, and include personal hygiene items like bar soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and a toothbrush, etc… For the woman bags, include a small supply of pads or tampons, again, from the dollar store. Be sure to include a couple bucks, which is what they ask for, anyway.
I think im gonna get some done this week with my oldest kids’ help (he likes to do things like this).
If you decide to do this and want to include hand sanitizer or Lysol spray please look for the single use wipes, instead. Unfortunately, people who are addicted to alcohol can and will ingest hand sanitizer when they cannot get consumable alcohol. Additionally, aerosol cans should be avoided as well as the propellant can be used for a quick high.
This isn’t about giving them money. If you want to throw one or two dollars in the kit, cool. If not, cool. It’s about giving them something that they need; something you reach for every morning.