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CAREbag Project

Even if you are staying in a shelter or other temporary housing situation, homelessness is tough. Daily survival is often one’s top concern. 

CAREbags provide daily necessities for people experiencing homelessness

We know that compassion combined with action will end homelessness. We need everyone to CARE (click the links to see what we mean): 

C – Contribute (food drives, money, etc.,)
A – Advocate
R – Reach Out (volunteering)
E – Educate

Many concerned community members provide CAREbags, as a means to help unhoused folks meet their daily needs. CAREbags often include toiletries, clothing items, food, or other survival items. Below are listed items for CAREbags that have been suggested by people who have experienced homelessness. Click here to purchase some of these items from our Amazon Wish List

Clothing items:

  • Socks, socks, socks! 
  • Warm hats and gloves
  • Bandanas
  • Thermal blanket
  • Underwear
  • Warm or Weighted Blanket
  • Long underwear

Hygiene or Personal Care items:

  • Dry shampoo
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush, Dental floss
  • Adult Washcloth Wipes, Flushable wipes, Baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizer, sanitizer spray, sanitizer wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products (pads, panty-liners, tampons, period underwear)
  • Hand warmers
  • Soap **Please separate food from soap. Snacks tastes like soap.**
  • Cloth/semi-cloth bandaids (instead of the plastic ones) 
  • Neosporin/antibiotic ointment
  • Advil/Ibuprofen/Tylenol/Aleve
  • Chapstick
  • Nail clippers
  • Face Masks
  • Hydrocortisone for bug bites
  • Tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Disposable razor
  • Q-tips
  • Condoms (non-latex)
  • Clear eyes
  • Invitation to a shower
  • Mirror/compact and lip gloss
  • Vaseline or Carmex 
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Moisturizer
  • Cough drops
  • Old fashioned hot water bottles

Food items:

  • Instant coffee packs
  • Water
  • Plastic spoon/knife/fork, travel cutlery
  • Vitamin C, D/Multivitamin
  • Treats: Hershey bar, candy, can of soda, gum
  • Ready to eat food containers (e.g. pouches of tuna with crackers)
  • Be sure food is non-perishable
  • Consider special diets (allergies or diabetes)

Other gear (many for outdoor encampments):

  • Rape whistle
  • Solar chargers, phone chargers, power bank, USB charging cables
  • Emergency ponchos
  • Candle, matches
  • Batteries
  • Sandwich bags
  • Multi-tool, pliers, cutters, can and bottle opener, screw drivers, etc.
  • Tarps
  • Radio
  • Portable camp shower
  • Small camp stove
  • TravelJohn portable urinals or disposable urinals
  • Wheelbarrow

Other items requested:

  • Mostly give them love!
  • Cash
  • Giftcards, coffee cards (especially to stores with public restrooms)
  • Pen & note pad, sharpies
  • A personal note of encouragement. I got one once and it made me cry happy tears
  • A dinner invitation
  • List of local resources (especially ones you have vetted, or that are guaranteed)
  • Something inspirational to read, a good book
  • Invite to public meeting on homelessness
  • Shoe box full of 100 dollar bills
  • Lottery tickets! ??
  • A kind word or inflatable hug ?

Need Help?

Find information and resources if
  • You or your family is currently homeless
  • You or your family is in danger of becoming homeless

Research

Find more information on topics ranging from Criminalization to How to Get Involved:
  • Reports
  • Manuals
  • Factsheets

Take Action

Be a part of the solution:
  • Donate
  • Organize
  • Advocate
  • Volunteer
  • Request a Speaker

NATIONALHOMELESS.ORG

National Coalition for the Homeless | 2201 P St NW, Washington, DC 20037 | (202) 462-4822 | info [at] nationalhomeless [dot] org
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