The Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness is asking for your help.

It’s calling for donations that will go towards supporting the local homeless community amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“During this time of the pandemic, we recognize that people experiencing homelessness are at even further risk in our community,” says coordinator Kristi Schwanickle. “The coalition is working in partnership with Island Health and our member organizations to support vulnerable people at this time.”

Schwanickle says many who are homeless have underlying health conditions that increase their chances of catching the disease.

“Physicians talk about homeless people being at five to ten times greater risk of contracting COVID-19.”

She adds that access to public washrooms, hand sanitation supplies and food is limited.

The coalition is now working with a range of organizations around town, including Radiant Life Church, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island and Grass Roots, Kind Hearts.

The items needed most are cleaning supplies, new camping gear, new socks, hygiene products, food and personal protective equipment like masks and gloves.

“This is a time where we’re all just running at maximum capacity,” Schwanickle says. “It’s been really amazing to see the people who come out and help in really surprising ways. It helps offset the increased workload that many organizations are facing at this time. People are consistently on the ground doing such hard work and it’s only further impacted and supported by people in our community.”

For a complete list of the organizations and items needed, or to learn how you can donate, send an email to campbellriverhousing@gmail.com.