With everything happening in the world right now one word you might not be hearing very often is the word “proud.” But right now, it’s one of the main words that is coming to mind for me. I’m proud of how people are handling quarantine (chill on buying the toilet paper though), I’m proud of the creativity, I’m proud of the selflessness and intentional acts of kindness that have risen out of these chaotic times. The most recent act of kindness that stood out to me is by Love Without Walls.
When all of the lockdowns due to the coronavirus started, one of the first things to cross my mind was, “How are we going to help this not spread through the homeless communities?” Living in Los Angeles where we have a homeless population of over 50,000 this is a serious issue. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness “there are an estimated 553,742 people in the United States experiencing homelessness on a given night, according to the most recent national point-in-time estimate (January 2017).”
Before you dismiss this as “their problem,” remember that some of these people might be living down the street from you. You could very likely be coming into contact with the same things they are, only they don’t have the access to proper handwashing. This, of course, isn’t the only reason to be mindful of them, but it does bring perspective that what impacts them does, in fact, impact us.
Being mindful of this, Terence Lester, founder of Love Without Walls, has created an intuitive way to tackle the homeless dilemma.
“Every single day for the last eight days, we have thought of ways to get water to people living on the streets during this crisis, and we found a way to build and assemble portable handwashing stations that hold up to 10 gallons of water.”
“This week, we are starting to plant these around the city for people who will be on the streets the entire length of the shutdown (regardless of spaces being open). Every news report we’ve read said that we must wash our hands, but what does this mean for people experiencing homelessness?
What happens when you have no access to water, restaurants won’t allow you to come into them and people already overlook you every single day—you become more prone to catch the #CONVID-19 virus.”
Working against time, Lester has already begun setting up the sinks around the city of Atlanta and seeing their impact.
“Call me whatever you’d like but @lovebeyondwalls is on the move with extreme caution with a few friends and partners.”