Committee: Community Resources
Short Description: Deliver resource kits to homeless residents through established programs. These kits will provide supplies such as socks, feminine hygiene products, toiletries, first aid kits, and other items to Cambridge’s most vulnerable population.
Long Description: Cambridge may be flourishing, but more can be done for its poorest residents. The last Cambridge Point in Time survey counted 69 unsheltered, homeless individuals living outside in the dead of winter. This effort will provide basic items such as socks, gloves, sanitary pads, toiletries, first aid kits, and other emergency needs as determined by a partnership between the City and local nonprofit service providers. We recommend the City purchase backpacks in which to deliver the supplies. The City anticipates that the budget will allow for distribution of kits throughout multiple seasons.
It is critical to meet basic human needs of those who have the least, especially those who are less likely to seek the services of a homeless shelter. Emergency supplies are not meant to be a long-term solution to many of the larger crises facing Cambridge, such as housing shortages or opioid abuse. However, providing these supplies recognizes the reality of homelessness and makes an incredibly difficult situation more bearable.
Example of potential items:
An example from Portland below: