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Photo of Honey, an outreach worker with the
Indigenous Harm Reduction
Team, doing mobile outreach on March 25, 2020.
Want to help get survival supplies to unhoused people in Lkwungen Territory (aka ‘victoria’)? Want to do this in flexible grassroots and peer-based ways that prioritize creatively getting the most needed things to the most marginalized people?
All money from this page will go to buying supplies for people living outside. With conditions rapidly changing, priorities are changing day by day and groups doing outreach need cash to get whatever’s most needed.
Why is this needed? In mid-March local government and health/social services responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by abruptly reducing and closing services to try to slow the spread of the virus. As a result, unhoused people’s access to shelter, drinking water, food, showers, clothing, laundry, health care, transportation, and communication have been severely impacted. The government/agency prevention measures have worsened people’s health and quality of life, and increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission (e.g., closure of public bathrooms means less ability to wash hands).
In this dire time, lots of amazing and creative stuff is happening on the ground. For example volunteers with the Indigenous Harm Reduction Team (IHRT) are:
- coordinating construction and delivery of DIY handwashing stations where people are sheltering outside
- doing daily flyers and online updates on changes to survival services
- working with a grassroots network of allies to collect and deliver food, water, hygiene/wellness supplies, and sheltering supplies (tents, tarps, sleeping bags, etc.)
While it’s important that people push government and agencies to increase supply distribution, the reality is that people living outside need survival supplies right now. We can’t wait for the large mainstream funders to support the mobile outreach work being done by groups without core funding like IHRT. And we can't assume that the funded social service agencies also doing mobile outreach, like Peers Victoria, SOLID, and AVI, are able to cover these expenses either as these agencies are also chronically underresourced and don't get funded for the range of survival supplies that are needed at this time.
All of the local organizations doing mobile outreach are communicating and the supplies purchased with this money will go to whoever can get the supplies out most effectively and rapidly - 0% power hoarding! Thanks for pitching in. Every donation is great, no amount too small!
Photo of DIY handwashing station. The original station and design was donated to AVI by 1st Arbutus Scouting Group (rock stars), IHRT pilot-tested it on outreach and subsequently constructed and distributed 4 more and distributed to locations where people are sheltering outside. More are under construction! This is the kind of thing your contribution will support.
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