This winter is proving to be a beast. The last two weeks have been frigid and next week is going to be worse with an Arctic blast headed our way. During the day the temperatures are going to be lucky to peak in the teens and at night we will be in the single digits here in Idaho. For the homeless, this is a dangerous time to be living on the streets. For those who are Shelter resistant, it can mean freezing to death.
Why you may ask yourself, would a person choose to stay on the streets when there are shelters available? There are many reasons for this.
- A person may be suffering from a mental illness that can cause them to act out or misbehave when they are in close confines to other people. According to NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness, “An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.”
- Some homeless people travel with companions or animals that are not welcomed into shelters. For a homeless person, this may be the only friend they have and loss of the friendship can be devastating.
- People who have stayed in shelters have had their clothing, bedding, and everything they own stolen by other people staying in the shelter.
Bob and Sherry Holman, owners of Holman Transportation in Caldwell, Idaho, stepped up to the plate and donated 50 EMPWR survival coats to Interfaith Sanctuary. These coats are made in the USA, are water-resistant and can transform into a sleeping bag, or be worn as an over-the-shoulder bag when not in use. The coat is constructed of durable, water-resistant fabric from Carhartt, upcycled automotive insulation from General Motors, and other materials provided by generous donors. At a cost of $100 each, this was a very generous donation! After the Holidays, donations begin to dry up. If you would like to donate one of these coats please go to http://www.empowermentplan.org/request-a-coat.
For our first blog, MoJo Sage would like to send a HUGE shout out to Bob and Sherry Holman of Holman Transportation for their generosity as well as to Jodi Peterson, Dan Ault, and the entire staff of Interfaith Sanctuary for their tireless work for the homeless community.