RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) –Daily Planet Health Services on Grace Street, in downtown Richmond, knows the power of the community coming together to make a difference. The organization says they want to make sure every Richmonder who is in need of supplies like socks, prepackaged snacks, and hygiene products has access to it.
“Traditionally, the summer and winter months are the most difficult for those experiencing homelessness to navigate,” said Taylor Garret, outreach coordinator for Daily Planet Health Services. “And this time of year will be further complicated because many of the resources traditionally utilized by this population have been affected by COVID-19.”
Throughout the month of October, DPHS will hold a supply drive. You can drop off supplies, Monday through Friday, at their Grace Street health center, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Garrett shared that when you arrive at the center to make your donation, call to speak with someone at the front desk. Following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff from DPHS will come out to your vehicle to pick up the supplies. In an effort to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Garret, some of the items the community needs the most are:
- new men’s and women’s underwear
- new or gently-used T-shirts and socks
- bus fare cards
Garrett says the supplies go directly out to those experiencing homelessness and patients of the center’s programs.
“Myself, as well as three of our other outreach workers, we’re going into the community every day,” Garrett said. “We like to bring supplies with us so that way it helps with relationship building — just meeting an immediate need. We’re not always able to meet complex needs out on the streets but having something to be able to share with somebody and start building that relationship is really important.”
Garrett says DPHS was able to help the community through the hottest months of the year by providing water to hundreds of people. She says when the coronavirus pandemic changed life as we knew it back in March, basic necessities became strained for the homeless community.
“Getting some respite inside of a fast-food restaurant, using the restrooms there, getting water there. Those basic needs haven’t been available,” Garrett said.
Garrett says everyday things we take for granted became much more difficult for people who already had it tough.
She said finding somewhere to charge your phone or get on a computer, isn’t as easy as it was before the coronavirus pandemic began.
Anita Bennett, the acting CEO of Daily Planet Health Services, said in a press release that community members make their job possible.
“We truly would not be able to succeed without the support of the Richmond community,” Bennett said. “And our hope is that those around the city will come together with the common goal of continuing to assist those in need.”
Garrett says DPHS helps about 25 people on any given week. So, help from the community is vital in continuing to help as many people as they can.
“This is the time to help the community out,” she said. “We want to help as many people as we are able to, without issues.”
Visit Daily Planet Health Services’ website for the full list of supplies and more information.
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