Imagine wearing the same clothes for six weeks straight.
This is a new reality for portions of the homeless population who don’t have access to shelters, according to Janeine Boice, senior director at The Mustard Seed Street Church.
She’s calling on behalf of the organization for help to restock their shelves, most importantly with essential clothing items.
“It’s truly hard to keep up morale,” she said. “We forget that the basics, such as clean socks and underwear can make an incredible impact on our most vulnerable.”
Ever since strict COVID-19 regulations began in March, the staff and volunteers at the Mustard Seed have been working hard and long hours. In the early morning, their street team prepares around 200 bagged lunches to give out later in the day.
By noon, a line has usually formed outside their location at 625 Queens Ave. and they start handing out hampers to families who need it the most, including single parents and seniors.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., a help line (250-953-1581) is available to call to donate money or arrange pick up of large donations, if necessary.
Due to the pandemic, the Mustard Seed now faces the challenge of not being able to host the community inside, so everything takes place in their parking lot.
Currently, the operation has been reduced to two vans instead of five. It’s placed a bit more pressure on the group to make the best use of their time and resources, but it’s nothing they can’t handle.
Recently, they picked up two car loads full of clothes, toys and food items from a nearby business.
For those interested in donating, clothes should be cleaned and placed in plastic bags, while socks and underwear can be bought new. The best time for drop-off is Monday through Friday between 2:30 and 4 p.m., but Boice said 8 to 9:30 a.m. also works for those on their daily commute to work.