The Cherokee County Homeless Veterans program, as part of their 2021 homeless outreach event, built and distributed over 80 24-hour emergency homeless kits and provided them to the Atlanta VA to provide to homeless veterans. The kits were built by a local family during the holiday season with some additional ones built by local members of American Legion Post 45 in Canton, Auxiliary Unit 45 and American Legion Post 316 of Woodstock.
The genesis of the kits was an idea presented to our program a few years back by two homeless veterans, one male and one female, that outlined what types of materials are needed to help provide a homeless person with food, water, basic hygiene items, clean dry socks, and emergency items such as hand warmers, flashlights and ponchos.
"Normally we build backpack kits that we use for homeless outreach, but these slightly smaller packs are designed to be kept in a car that can be handed to a homeless person you may encounter on the street. The kits are all put into ziplock bags so that the items are kept dry," noted Jim Lindenmayer, director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans program and Post 45 service officer. "The collection of the materials is a communitywide program which we do a couple times a year. We are thankful that our county and local community is so supportive of this program."
The idea to provide these kits was brought to our program by a member of Post 45 who works at the VA. David Bennet is a Desert Storm Navy veteran and is part of the VA police department at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.