For a Houston Without Homelessness

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COVID-19 In-Kind Needs

SEARCH’s Outreach Team has resumed its work and is connecting with folks living on the streets in the midst of COVID-19.  Our Housing Teams are also meeting with clients from a safe social distance and virtually.  Staff at SEARCH’s House of Tiny Treasures are also communicating regularly with children and families and preparing to reopen the campus when safe.  Their deliberate conversations have revealed specific, urgent needs that we wanted to share with our amazing support network.

Face Coverings.  Now that the CDC is recommending that Americans use face coverings in crowded settings to slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19, we would especially welcome disposable surgical face masks.  We would also appreciate help from our crafty supporters in making cloth face coverings available to people living on the streets.  The CDC website includes instructions for sewing masks with ties or elastics to secure them in place.  You can also review tutorials, templates, and further details about the different kinds of masks herehere, and here.  

Food and Water.  Second, nearly 75% of people surveyed by our Outreach Team expressed serious concerns about access to food and water due to service disruptions related to the pandemic.  We are working to address this need by collecting donations of the items listed below to share with folks weathering the outbreak in encampments.  You can also see and order these and other items on our COVID-19 Amazon wish list.

  • Tuna in pouches or pop-top containers
  • Vienna sausages in pop-top containers
  • Cans of chili, pasta, soup, and/or pork & beans with pop-tops
  • Beef jerky and fruit leather
  • Granola and protein bars
  • Pop tarts
  • Fruit or applesauce cups
  • Peanut butter or cheese crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Bottled waters
  • Juice boxes
  • Paper or reusable grocery bags

Paper Products and Cleaning Supplies.  Clients in SEARCH’s supportive housing programs have reported an urgent need for toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies (all-purpose cleaner, bleach, and disinfectant wipes).

Drop Off Instructions.  If you are able to provide masks or any of these food and household items, please reach out to Volunteer Coordinator Molly Connor at mmartin@searchhomeless.org or 713-276-3063 to make arrangements for a drop off time.  Thank you so much for helping to keep our clients and community safe and healthy.


Wish List

Click here for a list of our most needed items
  • Cleaning supplies, especially oven cleaner – Case managers in our Scattered Site Housing and Rapid Rehousing programs are finding that their newly housed clients most often fail Department of Housing and Urban Development inspections and risk eviction due to dirty ovens and would love it if they could provide clients with oven cleaner such as Easy-Off.  They’d also welcome other cleaning supplies like all-purpose cleaner, sponges, dish soap, and laundry detergent.  These gifts support SEARCH clients’ housing stability and acquisition of new life skills as they transition to life off the streets.
  • Reusable and disposable face masks
  • Bottled water
  • Winter items (coats, gloves, hats, blankets, sleeping bags, scarves, and hand warmers)
  • Reusable grocery totes
  • Liquid laundry detergent

You can also check out our Amazon wish lists for newly housed adult clients and SEARCH’s House of Tiny Treasures.  Additionally, please consider supporting SEARCH via AmazonSmile!  If you’re a Chrome user, you can install this extension so you don’t have to worry about remembering to start at your Smile page.  It will automatically load it for you anytime you use Amazon.


Other In-Kind Needs

Click here for a list other items needed
  • Diapers (sizes 5 – 6)
  • Baby wipes
  • Swim diapers (sizes 5 – 6)
  • Bottled water
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Band-aids
  • Antiseptic (first aid) wipes
  • Shampoo and conditioner, especially for Black hair
  • Insect repellent
  • Travel-size toothpaste
  • Child-size toothbrushes
  • Household cleaning supplies
  • Toilet paper
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Men’s underwear (boxers)
  • Men’s shoes (casual or tennis, especially sizes 11 and bigger)
  • Feminine products
  • Small storage items
  • Pantry staples kits with cooking oils, flour, sugar, salt, basic spices, and basic condiments (all items typically unavailable at food pantries)
  • Plus-size/big and tall casual clothing (polo-style shirts, jeans, khaki pants)
  • Kleenex
  • Paper towels
  • Garbage bags
  • First aid kits
  • Candles
  • Decorative vases
  • Food (oatmeal, Hormel Compleats, heart healthy canned vegetables, chili, tuna)
  • Instant coffee
  • TVs with inputs (red/white/yellow) for DVD players
  • Radios
  • Lamps
  • Small end tables
  • Rugs
  • Griddles/electric skillets
  • Coffee machines
  • Coasters
  • Blankets/throws
  • Picture frames
  • Crockpots
  • Toasters and toaster ovens

Prepare Snack Packs for our Clients

Our Mobile Outreach team members need snack packs as they meet individuals on the streets who are experiencing homelessness.  Easy-open protein items represent great food sources for our clients. 

For details on preparing snack packs, please click here.

Please see the list below and choose three or more of the items to package in Ziploc bags to create snack packs.  Clients often find it most helpful when snack packs contain a mix of no-chew (e.g. applesauce, pudding) and chewy items to accommodate all levels of dental health.  We truly appreciate when individuals, groups, students, and children who want to give back prepare these packs. Thank you for thinking of SEARCH and our neighbors’ basic needs!

  • Bumble Bee Snacks on the Run (tuna, chicken salad, ham, etc.)
  • Vienna sausages
  • GoGo Squeeze fruit pouches
  • Pudding packs
  • Planters mixed snack pouches/trail mix
  • Fruit cups or applesauce cups
  • Peanut butter or cheese cracker packs
  • Dried fruit crisps packets
  • Raisin snack boxes
  • Granola bars (crunchier varieties rather than chewy, please!)
  • Jif to Go/Nutella to Go snacks
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Non-chocolate protein bars (chocolate melts!)

Feel free to write an encouraging note for clients who will receive snack packs! Please don’t include dates, contact information, last names, religious references, or seasonal information such as references to holidays.


 

At SEARCH’s House of Tiny Treasures , we believe children are the future. By donating today, you can provide our students with a brighter tomorrow. Your gift of $250 or more will be recognized on the flower walls throughout the school! 

 

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