Local advocates for people who are homeless and living outside created a Pocket Guide featuring practical tips for survival and finding assistance. Community advocate and volunteer Lois Smith came up with the idea for the pocket guide after several interactions with people who are currently living outside or who had previously lived outside. “I learned quickly that people are trying to survive under extraordinarily difficult circumstances and could benefit from practical tips,” shares Lois. She researched the idea with social service providers including Council for the Homeless to make sure this type of guide did not already exist. Learning the need did exist, Lois gathered five other local advocates to bring the idea to fruition.
Two unique features about the Pocket Guide are
- The content was contributed by people who live outside or have lived outside. Additional input came from social service providers. Practical tips include “place crumpled newspaper in the bottom of your sleeping bag to stay warm” and “don’t lay tarp directly on your tent; create a lean-to over the tent to keep it dry.”
- The Pocket Guide is printed on waterproof and tear proof paper. It is also folded and small enough to fit in a pocket or other small space.Lois and the team of volunteer advocates (Jamie DeForest Spinelli, Wendy Bukoski, Shelly Gaylor, Lonnie Klugman, and TomEaton) worked for six months on the project. Phil Verry, a local graphic designer, charged a reduced rate for his services to the project. Council for the Homeless sponsored the cost of the design and printing.The team designed a specific distribution plan that focuses on community service agencies sharing the Pocket Guides primarily with the newly unsheltered who may be struggling with where to go and how to survive. In the near future, the Pocket Guide will be posted on the Council for the Homeless website (in a viewable, but not printable version to avoid printing on non-waterproof and tear proof paper.) Groups interested in distributing the Pocket Guides should contact Lois Smith directly.
To request a printed copy of the Pocket Guide, please contact Lois at 360-326-3970.