HELENA — The United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area is again putting together backpacks and supplies in order to help the homeless.
Each year United Way participates in a point-in-time survey that approximates the number of homeless in the area. When comparing the 2018 to 2022 point-in-time surveys, the homeless population has increased by more than 20% in Lewis and Clark County. The United Way is working to provide basic necessities in order to help those in need.
“Offering these backpacks to our unsheltered population is really kind of a survival tool. They are, many of them are living on the streets or staying in shelters occasionally and this is just to help them survive,” says Jeff Buscher, Community Impact Coordinator at The United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area.
The backpacks for the homeless initiative works to raise donations of backpacks and supplies for organizations that work directly with the homeless population. The organizations say what they need, and the United Way will provide such items.
“The backpacks for the homeless is a way to give to an organization that works directly with those clients. And we've talked to them, we work with them daily, we know exactly what they need,” says Buscher.
The backpacks are full of items such as toothbrushes, soap, hand warmers, shirts, towels, and other basic necessities.
If you would like to donate, you can reach out to the United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area or visit their website at: https://unitedwaylca.org/.