"It's too hot!" That's what many New Yorkers are saying this week as the summer heat has descended on our city and made for a less-than-comfortable commute and a rush to get inside their apartments or workplaces to have a reprieve from the warm weather. But imagine you don't have either of those places to go and you are stuck outside in this heat. That's what's facing homeless New Yorkers this summer.
We've compiled a short list of the items you may not think are needed but can make a huge difference in the day-to-day struggles of being homeless in the heat.
Most people don't realize just how important something like wash clothes can be for a person who is homeless. More than just for the shower, the ability to feel confident there isn't sweat dripping down your forehead is something we all want. If you are going in for a job interview, the last thing you want is to be worried about the heat causing you to sweat.
Light summer clothing may seem like a no-brainer, but in reality, what our homeless clients need most are clothes that are appropriate for job interviews. It's one thing to make someone feel comfortable in this summer heat, it's another thing to equip them to find employment and move into permanent housing. At Susan's Place, our shelter for mentally ill and medically frail homeless women in the Bronx, the women are in need of dresses, skirts, blouses and dress pants and in larger sizes. At Classic Re-Runs, we are able to do this for At one of our clinic sites, Ward's Island, the men are in need of dress pants and button up shirts so they too can land a job and get back on their feet.
Speaking of feet, foot care is a major concern for people who are homeless but it's usually the last thing people think of. Because of the heat and lack of clean socks, athlete’s
foot is a major concern for homeless men and women. In New York, we walk everywhere and new socks are such an inexpensive way to change someone's life. We know the importance of podiatry and have seen how foot care can help our clients.
We are always accepting donations of new and gently used clothing, new wash cloths and new socks to distribute to our homeless clients all over New York City. It's amazing what tossing an extra couple items in your Duane Reade basket can do to changing someone's life this summer.
For more information on giving as well as a full list of what we can give to our homeless clients, click HERE.