We’re nearly a month into this virus outbreak and we’re still learning about the many different ways it impacts our community. Especially people who were more vulnerable going into it.
Today I heard from Portlander Mia Matusow. She’s a volunteer with Blanchet House, a local nonprofit that has served millions of free meals and provided other essential services to our homeless neighbors since 1952.
Mia said access to water is harder than ever for people who live outside. That’s because they usually depend on public water sources like Benson Bubblers and drinking fountains and faucets inside parks. But those have been closed to stop the virus from spreading. Cafes and coffee shops that people might have received water from are also closed.
People who no longer have access to these water sources and who don’t have a stable place where they can and use running water must now store and carry more water than usual. But many of them don’t have water bottles. That means they’re not drinking enough.
“Members of the homeless population are facing serious dehydration,” Mia says.
She reached out to BikePortland because she thought there might be bike-related businesses or event promoters who may have many extra bottles lying around.
With dozens of major bike events cancelled in the past month (official racing season has been postponed through May 31st), could their be boxes of bottles gathering dust out there? Beyond surplus bottles made for events that won’t ever happen, Mia says gently used bottles are needed as well.
If you can help, get in touch with Mia at bluelinemia [at] live [dot] com. You can also drop them off at Blanchet House directly at 310 NW Glisan St. Their phone number is (503) 241-4340 and their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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