Preparing the homeless for winter

Andrea Justice/Arizona Silver Belt Members of the Homeless Coalition of Globe Miami are joined by Jason Sanchez’s family at the second annual Jason Sanchez Homeless Connect Day. Together they worked to connect those in need with resources and aid before the winter storms hit. Pictured above from left to right: Angie Hardee, Tim Gonzales, Barbara Kannegaard, Cathy Sanchez, Amelia Albo, and Alexis Sanchez.

At least 13 agencies or groups were represented at the second annual Jason Sanchez Homeless Connect Day held last Friday at Maranatha Baptist Church in Globe. The Homeless Coalition of Globe Miami was able to feed and clothe 11 members of the community.

Barb Kannegaard, president of the Homeless Coalition, said that they were able to provide clothing, shoes, underwear, socks, blankets, mittens, showers and a wash station. The Lions Club was on site for eye screenings, and agencies like the Gila County Health Department were on hand to talk about Hepatitis and other dangerous diseases.

“We put flyers in food pantries around Globe and Miami,” said Kannegaard. “Our homeless need hand holding. We also checked under bridges and were available for rides.”

While they were able to reach several of their regulars, according to Kannegaard some were in jail and some didn’t want to attend. They would rather “stay under the radar”.

“It was 48 degrees this morning. At least they got a hot meal and a start for the cold winter.”

Kannagaard noted that they gave each person in attendance a backpack full of toiletries.

They encourage homeless to use the bags as pillows and to loop their hands through the straps to prevent items from being stolen.

Members of the Homeless Coalition hoped that by allowing attendees an opportunity to wash up and get a hot meal they might have a break from their everyday lives.

According to a statement by the coalition, “This is not an easy way to live but connecting them with the resources that can help them get out of that way of life is a start.”

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