There are over 600,000 homeless people in the U.S., according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Women and women with families make up the fastest-growing group of the homeless population in the USA and represent the majority of homeless people in rural areas nationwide. About 25% of all homeless people are children. Many individuals who are in homeless shelters suffer from substance abuse problems and/or severe mental health issues.
During the holidays, Beatrice Loving Heart prioritizes serving the community. To incorporate this theme, Beatrice Loving Heart collected used and old clothing items to clothe the homeless and less fortunate during the winter. These items consisted of blankets, jackets and coats, new socks, new underwear, long-sleeved shirts, and shoes. Our staff also collected over 50,000 canned and non-perishable food items. All items were then distributed to a local church and several homeless shelters in Maryland that assisted members of the community during the winter.
Beatrice Loving Heart creates care packages with items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, new socks, new undershirts, bottles of water, canned food items, fruit, and a warm blanket. Our staff then takes the care packages and hand delivers them to homeless men and women living on the street. If the recipient is willing, we spend time getting to know them and their story. Last year, we had the opportunity to sit down with a young woman that was so grateful for the help that BLH gave her. She explained to us that she was never married and does not have any children. She once had a job and home.
She explained how she ended up living on the streets after losing her apartment over a drug-related incident. She was homeless for two years and getting progressively worse. She went from staying with friends to stay in her car, to sleeping on the street. This was all because she spent all of her money on drugs and alcohol. BLH was able to educate and direct her towards supportive assistance programs. In the upcoming years, Beatrice Loving Heart seeks to give back to the community in several different ways during the holiday season. Our goal is to touch as many lives as possible through participating in charity races, organizing charitable events, and donating new and used items to those in need.