The response and readership to my previous post “What Does Bone Cancer, $25 ID’s and Homeless Re-Housing Have in Common” has been terrific with more than 500 readers to just this post alone since the article was published at 3:30pm on Sunday 12/30/12.
Dear Reader, we are so grateful you took the time to read up on this challenge that exists within our very own community.
The individuals who reside at the Beaver Brook Campsite were grateful for the supplies (hand/foot warmers, toiletries, blankets, MRE’s, clothing and shoes). These same people were engaging and quite willing to tell their stories, to us, complete strangers. They also allowed us, or rather, Howl in Lowell-Digital Media Editor-Photographer-Extraordinaire, Tori Germann to take some photographs to document our mission. I say mission, because this is a mission. It is a mission to alleviate suffering and work with our neighbors to give them a lift-up, galvanizing our community to take ownership, no matter how small the part. And yes, while these men and women live in tents along the Merrimack River, they are indeed our neighbors.
Pictured above, reader, is a picture of the “community” area that has been created in the midst of tents.
Above, Veteran Specialist, Roland Cartier speaks to one of the men we met on this journey.
Paul Belley, ever the gentleman, assists one of the ladies with a new winter coat.
Despite their circumstances, these men and women are a lesson in tenacity and survival. All of us, who participated in this mission last Saturday have been deeply affected by this experience. The mission does not stop here. There is still much more to be done.
As a resident of the City of Lowell, driving by this location on a regular basis, I’ve often wondered, “What does this say about us as a city that we allow this?”, “This can’t be good for business for the City of Lowell” and more importantly, one has to question just how well aligned are our service and advocacy models that serve this very vulnerable population?
As reflected in the previous post, I am doubling down on efforts to forge ahead with de-compartmentalizing service delivery. At the end of the day, whether it is Lowell Transitional Living Center, Pathfinder, Living Waters, Eliot Community Health Services or Community Teamwork – each one of us as entities has capacity and skill to bring to bear to ensure the success of our neighbors in a coordinted manner.
Of course, service providers can’t do it alone. We do need your help and this is how you can help. Little help, big help..all of you, Dear Readers, are part of this crazy jigsaw puzzle of a community:
Here’s what you can do…..
1. Donate $5, $10, $25, $26 (26 Acts of Kindness), $100 or any amount you see fit. Funds to re-house homeless individuals in the City of Lowell are scarce or rather – non-existent.
2. Donate goods for those who are living outside. Great items to consider – hats, gloves, mittens, long underwear, underwear, socks, winter boots, blankets, towels, toiletries, feminine products (for the ladies), First Aid Kits, $5 gift cards to Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s or any other local food establishment.
3. If you are a landlord or know someone who is a landlord, let us know the availability of units so that we may collect the resources necessary to re-house this very vulnerable population.
Tax deductible donations may be made payable to “CTI-INDRH” and mailed to Community Teamwork, Inc. 17 Kirk St. Lowell, MA 01852. In kind (goods contributions) may be left at the CTI Resource Center at 17 Kirk St. Lowell.
100% of the funds and in kind donations generated will go directly to the men and women living outside and their subsequent re-housing efforts in the City of Lowell. Questions about what you can do? Call Kristin (978) 654-5617 or email firstname.lastname@example.org