COVID-19 Response and Community Care

In this time of uncertainty and rapid change, when all of us are doing our best to slow the spread of Covid-19, we are writing to ask for your help in supporting our most vulnerable communities to be well and safe.  We are helping to organize direct action efforts to homeless in our community.

Background: As the virus spreads and the need for more drastic actions to stop it are taken each day, those who are homeless, near homeless, or one paycheck away from family crisis are becoming increasingly more vulnerable.  The community centers, social service agencies, drop in centers that usually serve these communities are closed. The warm indoor spaces like libraries, shopping centers and light rail are shut down. Homeless shelters where folks can return in the evenings are closing.  Because of the need for personal distancing these individuals and families have less access to accurate information, are more at risk of virus exposure, and they often have pre-existing conditions which we now know put them at higher risk.

As we seek to slow the spread of the virus for all, we need to address the needs of those among us who are often invisible and unable to make necessary changes to meet their basic shelter, food and health needs.

Who is organizing these efforts: The Cultural Wellness Center and Anam Cara Community are collaborating with volunteers, a Homeless Outreach Team, and shelter advocates to provide community care and critical support each day from 1-3PM at Peavy Park on Franklin and Chicago Ave. in Minneapolis.  While we know at this time we all feel more vulnerable and afraid about the future, we are asking for you to extend your compassion and support for those in our community that are most vulnerable.

What : Here are some specific ways you can support our direct actions:

  • Go to Give to the Max, Cultural Wellness Center  and make a donation of any size.  These donations will go directly to supplying non-perishable food, sanitizing, clothing, and needed supplies and resources for the homeless or near homeless.  Your financial donation will meet the highest needs.

  • Gift cards from Target, Walgreens or other stores… You can drop these off or we will pick them up.

  •  We also have a list of specific items that are in short supply.  It is most helpful if these items are left in their package if they are new.  For used clothing or cloth items please clean and dry, put in the dryer before putting in a bag.  We need everything sanitized to the best of your ability and put into bags. We can pick up these donations, you can drop them off at our house or you can drop them off each day at Peavy Park from 12:30-3PM

  • Volunteer on or off-site. On-site tasks with physical distancing include sorting donations, sanitizing donations, and being a friendly presence. Off-site tasks include picking up donations, making sanitation supplies, and getting the message out to our communities. To volunteer contact covidmobileoutreach@gmail.com

    TOP PRIORITY ASKS:

    1. Tents – new or very good condition

    2. Sleeping Bags – very good condition

    3. Nonperishable food items in sealed packaging (granola bars, Beef Jerky, Nuts, Chips, etc.)

    4. 100 Socks (Unisex, Tube, Athletic)

    5. Hand Sanitizer

    6. Backpacks or Bags (non-disposal, cloth or synthetic material)

    7. Over the counter medications & supplies (Tylenol, Band-Aids, feminine hygiene products)

    8. Bottled Water, Juices

    9. Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Shampoo, Bar Soap, Deodorant (Small Travel Sizes)

    10. Respiratory masks and/or bandanas

    11. Tissues (regular boxes, personal size)

    12. Rubber gloves

    13. Underwear (for all bodies) in new packages
    14. Tarps
    15. Thermal Underwear (for all bodies)
    16. Jackets and rain gear