Thank you for your interest in assisting Recovery Programs Solutions of Virginia (RPSV) and those we serve who are homeless. We sincerely appreciate your efforts to help those in need in your community.
We are excited to provide you with the opportunity to create “Homeless Survival Kits” that will be distributed to adults across Northern Virginia. Your efforts will impact individuals during a time when good hygiene is more critical than ever before.
Good hygiene is dignifying. For those who are homeless, it can be a challenge because of their lack of access to showers and laundry facilities. RPSV provides shower and access to laundry services at select locations and offers hygiene products for individuals to wash up at each of our centers. And, at this time when COVID-19 is impacting all of us, good hygiene is literally part of a life-sustaining routine we should all be following to avoid getting sick so the kits are very timely as well!
The Homeless Survival Kits provide key items that those we serve require year-round as there is a continuous need for them. They are as follows:
- Nonperishable, easy-access, no need to heat foods (healthy and high protein foods are best) (e.g., beef jerky, granola bars, power bars, cheese and cracker kits, peanut butter crackers, canned cheese with crackers), nuts, cleaned apples, oranges, bananas. Treats such as chocolate bars and chips – and hand wipes so individuals can eat them with clean hands.)
- Dry shampoo and conditioner
- Face and hand lotion
- Men’s shavers (for the bags given to males), women shavers (for the bags given to women), roll-on deodorant, face wash, women’s feminine products, hairbrushes and combs, scrunchies and hair ties, women’s hair care products (including products such as grease for those whose hair requires it for styling), toilet paper or toilet wipes
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouth wash
- Bottled water
- Hand sanitizer
- Adults sized heavy socks, heavy gloves, scarves, knit winter hats, plastic rain capes, hand warmers (found at places like Walmart)
- Adult masks, plastic adult-sized gloves, plastic garbage bags for disposing of waste (e.g., small kitchen bags)
- Gift cards in small amounts – e.g., $10 (e.g, Starbucks-so the recipient can get a warm drink and a light breakfast or CVS-so they can purchase hygiene items as needed)
- Other items you would like to provide
And, because winter is coming: RPSV is also seeking winter coats, backpacks, small tents, heavily-insulated sleeping bags for those we serve who are not affiliated with shelters!
Completed kits can be dropped off at our Centers in Annandale, Arlington, and South County Alexandria. Please call (800) 374-4198 to arrange a drop-off time. **For the safety of our team and those we serve, please follow CDC guidelines when putting the kits together by using gloves and gloves when managing (and delivering) items.
Please note, because these kits will be given to homeless individuals, they will be carrying the items with them. It is ideal to use several travel-sized (or smaller sized) items to lessen the weight they must carry. It is also ideal to place items in cloth bags that are easier to carry (such as a cloth grocery bag).
Please feel free to include a notecard in each bag with an uplifting message for the recipient. Those who are homeless often feel invisible. Letting them know you are thinking of them will mean the world to them!
Thank you again for wanting to assist those we serve. Please visit our website (rpsva.org) to learn more about our programs and services, follow us on social media (Facebook: rpsvirginia, Twitter: rpsvcares_nova), Instagram: rpsvcares LinkedIn: Recovery Program Solutions of Virginia, YouTube, rpsvcares), and see our organizational video here: bit.ly/3aqj2JA
Homeless people are one of the most vulnerable populations in the coronavirus yet they’re largely invisible victims of the crisis. Cronkite News, 8/24/20
More about Recovery Program Solutions of Virginia: RPSV provides free support for adults with mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness issues at our five drop-in Recovery Centers across Northern Virginia. We also provide 15 virtual telehealth support groups weekly, and Warm Line phone support that people can call before a crisis ensues.
RPSV serves ~9,000 individuals annually, most of those we serve are homeless, and over 50. Most are not affiliated with shelters so they live in their cars, under bridges, and in the woods. Our oldest participant is 84, and ~35% of those we serve are veterans.