By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,277)
Donations of warm clothing are needed by the City’s two shelters for homeless people. Suggested items needed to ease the struggle in this week’s cold snap include new blankets, coat vests, gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, earmuffs, long underwear and warm winter socks. Such donations are needed at the Oxford Street Shelter and the Emergency Family Shelter. Members of the public interested in making donations can make arrangements by contacting the city at 207 – 761-2072.
This week’s cold snap is a reminder that on any given night more than four hundred and twenty-five people within the community experience homelessness and seek emergency refuge at one of the community’s six overnight shelters. These men, women and children are particularly vunlerable to the weather and often in need of help or assistance from the community to stay warm according to a press release issued by the City earlier today. Donations to shelters have been down compared to years past.
In response to the cold temperatures, the Oxford Street Shelter has been opening early at 1:30 pm and has coordinated with other local shelters to ensure that warm space is available throughtout the day. Staff is also going out at night to known outdoor locations where people who are homeless are known to be to encourage them to seek shelter and offer transportation to Oxford Street. Additionally, the staff has been providing winter gear to those in need.
Other suggested donations from the public for shelters include towels, backpacks, rain gear, underwear, flip flops and toiletries.