In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, there are glimpses of hope. Local community leaders are stepping up in an effort to combat the spread of the virus. According to The Inquisitr, Atlanta-based social entrepreneur Terence Lester has provided portable hand-washing stations for the city’s homeless population.
Lester is leading the effort through a nonprofit he founded with his wife Cecilia dubbed Love Beyond Walls. The organization—which is based in College Park—provides resources and support for individuals impacted by homelessness. Since its inception in 2013, Love Beyond Walls has led several impactful initiatives including a “Mobile Stay” program that offers temporary shelter to people who are battling with homelessness, a “Mobile Makeovers” project that provides grooming services in underserved communities and a “Love Feeds” program designed to combat food insecurity among families who are struggling to make ends meet, amongst other projects. They’ve also created several awareness campaigns to bring attention to the state of homelessness in Atlanta and beyond. The organization has provided nearly 100,000 people with basic needs.
The nonprofit joined forces with RV manufacturers and through the collaborative effort, 15 portable hand-washing stations were set up within a week. “I started wondering how homeless people would keep their hands clean, it’s already difficult. The reality is some people are going to live on the streets and be on the streets,” Terence said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “When I was experiencing homelessness being out there, you would have to go a mile or two to wash your hands or go to the bathroom. I wanted to make sure we put stations in parts where people are under bridges, just in case someone wants to stop and wash their hands.” Gospel music artist Lecrae has assisted Love Beyond Walls with the installation of the hand-washing stations.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 552,830 people throughout the U.S. experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018.