I’m re-posting a shout out from the Arlington list-serv that was reposted to Belmont’s mailing list on Saturday. The message concerns an estimated 75 homeless families, including 100 children, that are being housed at the Gateway Inn on Route 2 in Cambridge (right next to Lanes ‘n Games bowling alley). (NOTE: I haven’t called to confirm this with the Gateway, but I have no reason to doubt its veracity.) In addition to the steps for helping these families outlined below, its worthwhile coordinating our efforts with food or clothing drives, trips to BJs/Costco, etc. Some parents in Arlginton have also organized events (musical performances, book readings) to make sure the childrens’ intellectual, emotional and physical needs are being met. If you’ve got ideas, post ’em.
According to the e-mail, the families are living in hotel rooms with a mini fridge and a microwave each. Families stay at the Inn an average of 2 to 3 month. According to the post, the families are receiving food stamps and other forms of assistance to buy food, but –no surprise — the families are living in difficult circumstances and need help and support. Here are some areas of need that have been identified for Belmont community members to reach out:
- Donations of Clothing/Toys: These can be dropped off at the front desk of the Gateway, where the front desk attendant and residents will sort through them and get them to the families that need them.No used underwear, bathing suits, worn items or dirty clothes. No broken toys or toys with small parts. Shoes are needed, especially for older children and adults.
- Donations of Books: Board-books, especially.Books and magazines for the adults are also appreciated.
- Household Items: Each room has a mini-fridge and microwave, so any food, plates, mugs, bowls or flatware that are microwaveable are needed. Paper plates are great, too. As are napkins, cups, storage containers, zip-lock bags, etc.
- Food: Anything microwaveable – microwaveable mac&cheese boxes, etc. Canned food, non-perishable, baby food, etc.
- Toiletries: These aren’t covered by food stamps, etc.CVS or Walgreens gift cards are a good idea, multi packs of soap, feminine hygiene products, diapers, wipes, etc.
If you’re unable to drive items over yourself, two Arlington residents have agreed to have donations dropped on their porch. They are:
- Eric Segal,84 Milton Street (East Arlington – off Mass Ave near ‘Za – 2nd house on 2nd block)
- Liz Jaramillo,78 Harlow Street, East Arlington – off Mass Ave