Masks for Houseless Folx in Portland, OR

A few nights ago I met a houseless person who was trying to go to a convenience store to buy food but was unable go in because he did not have a mask.  The number of houseless persons in Portland before covid was high, now with a high level of unemployment and Oregon's failing unemployment department that has been delayed in paying thousands benefits over the last 6 months, that number is even higher.  

We know that houseless folx are more likely to get covid-19 and that also increases the risk to the community, but I for one did not even think about how covid-19 impacts houseless access to essential services like grocery and convenience stores.

I'd like to do what I can to reduce this barrier to essential services and am seeking community assistance in doing so. Hopefully this will have the added benefit of reducing covid numbers for both the houseless and community at large, in addition to reduce what is an unjust and classist health risk to the houseless - most of which do not have health insurance.

I am presently unemployed and have the time to distribute, but I do not have the financial resources to buy the amount of masks needed, so I would need help from the community. This could either be in the form of donation to this campaign, or joining in and buying and distributing masks as well.

In my neighborhood alone, there is a large number of houseless folks whom I have daily interactions with, who come by our house every morning and night to pick up cans, sleep on our main cross-street, and hang out at nearby convenience and grocery stores. 

Cloth masks are both more impractical than triple layer surgical masks for the houseless and more expensive, even when homemade.  Triple layer surgical masks can be bought for approximately $0.36 each or less when bought in a 50 pack or more.  I would at least like to distribute 2 masks per person.    The masks will be personally distributed to houseless folx on the streets,  placed in PDX Free Fridges, and given to local food pantries and shelters.

Your donation will primarily be used to buy these masks as well as plastic baggies to package them in. Any  remaining funds that prove to be impractical to distribute masks with will either be used to purchase and distribute  hand sanitizer, be donated to mutual aid and non-profits that support the houseless (either monetarily or otherwise), and/or small amounts of cash given directly to houseless persons on the streets. 

Any donation amount would help, but please consider donating the cost of 1 box while considering the fees of 2.9% + $.30 per processing fee per transaction that gofundme charges. The goal of $1000 is an arbitrary number that would not need to be met to make a difference, but it would be nothing short of amazing if it was reached. 

Thank you!

Donations

  • Carol Larcom  
    • $25 
    • 15 d
  • Skye Howard 
    • $25 
    • 20 d
  • Tascha Babitch 
    • $5 
    • 20 d
  • kara monroe 
    • $25 
    • 20 d
  • Amanda Gaudet 
    • $20 
    • 20 d
See all

Organizer

Mallory Larcom 
Organizer
Portland, OR
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more