Homeless backpacks include special notes


Local Fourth Gthe runners Share sincere advice for Not housed

“Think of things like kittens, puppies, and rainbows when you’re feeling sad,” Grade 4 student Bessie Coleman said in her letter to the homeless.

Thirty heartfelt letters from young people in the community were packed into backpacks this week by the Samaritan’s Care Hub team with items homeless people need to survive.

The Care Hub is a team of more than 15 nurses, social workers and community health workers who work together to provide outreach support and assessment to some of the region’s most complex patients.

“Part of this is homeless awareness,” said Anita Earl, Care Hub supervisor.

The team formed an assembly line and stocked the backpacks, which are actually drawstring bags, slipping in notes along with much-needed supplies for a packing session shortly before Thanksgiving.

“The bags were chosen to provide support after unloading, while not actively contributing to roadside waste,” Earl said.

Care Hub workers put a note of encouragement in each of the 120 backpacks. The bags are filled with items including a water bottle, electrolyte powder, protein bars, first aid kit, thermal blanket and personal hygiene items. A new fund from the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation helped launch the project with a donation of $ 5,000.

“The plan is for the Care Hub team members to distribute the backpacks as part of our homeless outreach efforts,” Earl said. “They will provide emergency departments, emergency care and various clinics in the Samaritan system with a small amount to use as needed.”

The team also plans to visit patients in the community, including homes and parks.

“We will take the bags to various sites that want or request them and can also accommodate individual requests,” Earl said.

“Many homeless people struggle with serious health issues and mental health issues that make basic survival difficult,” Earl said. “The cold weather and the lack of affordable housing in our area have encouraged desperation. When you leave a medical environment and are sick or in pain, it would be very comforting to have some basic supplies, but the bottom line is that this is the part that saves.

Each of the bags receives a rating of encouragement, but 30 in the homeless community will find the special grades of the fourth graders. Many of these notes will contain kind and wise advice, including “I hope you will feel better” and “you are important”.

However, the fourth grader who stood out included advice we could all live on:

  • Take care.
  • Be good to each other.
  • Do not lose confidence in yourself and in others.
  • Love each other through and through.
  • And of course, think about things like kittens, puppies, and rainbows when you’re feeling sad.

If you are inspired to get involved, look for an opportunity to contribute with a note of encouragement through an ArtsCare project. Monetary donations can also be made to the Care Hub fund hosted by the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation.

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