Founded by Jasmine Araujo, Southern Solidarity organizes the delivery of food, medical resources and basic needs directly to the unhoused in the downtown area of New Orleans and New York city because the government has failed to meet needs. In addition to food justice, Southern Solidarity organizes with the unhoused in the fight for housing.
There are reportedly 1200 unhoused people in New Orleans. More than 420 of them live on the street where they are deprived of access to running water, soap, shelter, and basic food supplies. This makes them a particularly vulnerable group during the Covid 19 pandemic in addition to the hardships and exploitations they already endure. Very little is being done on a federal level to service this population.
Despite reports that the homeless people of New Orleans are being relocated to local hotels, only 1/4th of them have been relocated thus far. Those still on the streets won't get updates about coronavirus; they can't rely on loose change from pedestrians while the city is shut down; they can't rely on discarded food from tourists; they are extremely vulnerable to mental health issues; and those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries might not comprehend the changes around them.
The group follows CDC guidelines while preparing and distributing food. Everyday several volunteers meet at a two story house at 4pm to begin prep. First they gear up: gloves, n95 masks, and face shields. Then, they divide. Only three volunteers work on the first floor while three volunteers work in the kitchen on the bottom floor. They sanitize everything using restaurant grade Steramine, including all packaging. Distribution begins at 5pm. The food preppers are dismissed while those who have been trained gear up to distribute.
We are raising funds to purchase and distribute medical supplies and basic needs such as bedding, tents, sanitary products, masks, and food daily to those on the street. These funds help with transportation of unhoused people, rent for unhoused people, car maintenance of people involved in food distribution, BIPOC organizer and street medic stipends, organizer development and training, rent for facilities, gear for organizers distributing food and protesting for and with the unhoused. We are servicing three neighborhoods in New Orleans and one neighborhood in New York City.
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Read more about us on our website: Southernsolidarity.org
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- Emily Kline
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Fundraising team: New Orleans/ NYC Mutual Aid (5)
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