Saturday, October 10, is World Homeless Day. With our international platform we want to draw attention to this global crisis. From an orphan in a Brazilian favela to the fallen hedge fund manager in Manhattan. In this blog, Noelani Reyes, Director of Sheltersuit USA, explains why your support is needed on '10/10/20'.
In the United States there are nearly 600,000 people experiencing homelessness today, and with the effects of COVID this number is only going to get exponentially worse over the next few months. "Americans are losing their jobs at an alarming rate", says Noelani. The reason? Covid-19 is disrupting the economy and the country does not have a social safety net like Western European countries. "Consumers are increasingly keeping their hands on the purse." A vicious circle looms.
Frosty winter on the way
"Moreover, the shelter capacity of 'shelters' has been decreased to less than half because of the corona crisis." More and more unhoused people spend the night sleeping rough. Those who are now homeless in states like Minnesota and Michigan will have to spend next winter outside. In the north of the United States, temperatures drop well below zero. If you are unable to find a sheltered spot during these chilly autumn and winter months, then your life's in danger of hypothermia. "Sheltersuits literally save lives under these circumstances."
In the north of the United States, temperatures drop well below zero. If you are unable to find a sheltered spot, then your life's in danger of hypothermia.
Noelani works her way around to put Sheltersuit USA on the map. She tries to convey the urgency of the homeless problem to the American public. She does this by approaching large "news outlets" as part of World Homeless Day and by highlighting the activities of the Sheltersuit Foundation. “Think of large media organizations such as CNN, the New York Times and the New York Post. We also try to enlist influencers to help us share our message of urgency. With our message, we can provide clear action points so communities can start acting now to provide protection to their unhoused neighbors.”
Donate or take action
It is important that companies, organizations and individuals take action. Be creative! Noelani gives some examples: “Have a fundraiser for your birthday on Facebook. Organize a marathon and get sponsored. Are you handy? Make something beautiful, sell it and donate the proceeds. ”
A skateboarder in Baltimore is going to organize an event for the homeless. His community raises money by selling tasty snacks and t-shirts. Noelani: “We have a Campaign Toolkit that provides you with guidelines and graphics so you can take action in your own hands! (ADD LINK)' t. This way everyone can easily raise money to provide protection to an unhoused neighbor ”
Regular donations are of course also more than welcome. ” Noelani says she has approached several Homeless Outreach organizations that have expressed a need for our Shelterbag. This shows that the demand for alternative shelter is high. "On average about 100 Shelterbags per organization."
Will you stay on the sidelines or will you also take action?