July 10th, 2018 and the temperatures are already pushing the mid-90s. Historically Connecticut should average around 84 degrees this time of year. Even though statistics have reported a 13% decrease in the total homeless population in 2017, it does not negate the fact that there still approximately 3,387 homeless people on the street. A startling 60% of those people are chronically homeless, and 34 of that count were identified as Veterans while in emergency shelters, with 14 others being unsheltered Vets. These numbers declining lend to the fact that Columbus House’s mission is working, however, they can’t get to everyone. *(Yet.) While Columbus House helps so many, there are still men, women, and children trying to find shelter from the ever steadily rising mercury representing a climate change in this normally fairer state.
To aid Columbus house in their tireless efforts to help the homeless population of Connecticut, Watson sent 84 cases of water, snacks and peanut butter to the Wallingford Emergency Services location.
Anthony Avery, the Outreach & Engagement Case Manager at Columbus Houses Program Offices, said “Water and snacks make our interactions with people experiencing homelessness easier, especially for individuals who steer away from our case managers. When we have something to offer, it makes them more receptive to what we have to say and what we have to offer at our agency. Water and snacks are also essential when clients are here for long hours doing assessments with our staff.”
Ida, the Annex’s Receptionist, says, “I am very grateful for the donations of bottled water that Columbus House receives for our clients/guests. Some clients/guests who visit the Annex building at Columbus House, especially during the warmer months, are at risk of dehydration. The bottled water is crucial for their survival. Approximately 1 1/2-2 cases of water are consumed a day with some clients needing to take a bottle or two for their day’s journey.
The contributions of water and snacks also play a significant role in helping to sustain the clients while they are visiting with us; a few clients work and may have appointments with us during the lunch hour. Some clients/guests visit us just because of the snacks, although snacks are not always available.
I find it rewarding to be able to offer the clients these vital resources while they are waiting to meet with a case manager and/or take a shower and get back on the path of independence.
Thank you so very much for your generous donation.”
These testimonies outline how incredibly crucial it is to join the efforts in making dehydration and heat stroke a nonexistent or at least manageable for people sentenced to the streets. Please take the time to help, if it’s just buying 1 case or 84 cases every little bit could help. If you can’t make the trek, remember peapod delivers! Contact Sheree DiMario at Columbus House for more information on what you can do too!
“It’s not only hunger but also the thirst, the awful suffering which vexes you worst”