Urban Survival Bags
Recently, Grace and Main Fellowship undertook a new mission commitment aimed at blessing our brothers and sisters who are sleeping outside at this time of year. In some cases, they don’t have the option to stay at a shelter organization because of the chronic nature of their homelessness and the lack of an adequate long-term homeless shelter or rescue in Danville. Others have a variety of issues or fears about being confined and choose to stay outside for the sake of their own mental health. Regardless, it became clear to us earlier this year that we needed to find a way to offer love and grace to our beloved brothers and sisters trying to survive outside as temperatures drop.
After much brainstorming and planning, we decided that the first step in this new mission commitment to our homeless brothers and sisters who sleep outside is to provide what we’re calling “urban survival bags.” For the prototype phase of this part of the new commitment, we packed four large duffel bags with a variety of urban survival supplies that will enable somebody to live a little more comfortably and healthily this winter.
We’re going to continue to refine the contents of these bags and we hope in the next phase of this commitment to standardize the items once we get some feedback from our brothers and sisters who have already benefited from them.
Each of the bags we packed contained:
- A winter-rated “mummy” sleeping bag
- A heavy blanket
- A thick and reusable poncho
- Chemical hand-warmers
- A pair of thick gloves
- A scarf
- A pair of wool socks
- A “toboggan” (a knit cap)
- A complete first-aid kit
- A complete hygiene kit, including waterless soap
- A notebook (with pen) that includes hours of operation, phone numbers, and addresses for local care organizations and the times and locations of free meals near downtown
- A deck of cards and some candy
- A heavy-duty “Nalgene” water bottle
- A few other small things