Northside community group seeks supplies for unhoused neighbors in North Long Beach

The+organizers+of+the+Norfside+Long+Beach+Food+Drive+gathered+enough+monetary+and+food+donations+to+create+50+boxes+of+food.+On+the+morning+of+Saturday%2C+Oct.+10%2C+organizers+helped+recipients+carry+boxes+of+food+to+cars+parked+in+nearby+neighborhoods.+%28Emma+DiMaggio+%7C+Signal+Tribune%29

The organizers of the Norfside Long Beach Food Drive gathered enough monetary and food donations to create 50 boxes of food. On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 10, organizers helped recipients carry boxes of food to cars parked in nearby neighborhoods. (Emma DiMaggio | Signal Tribune)

The grassroots community group Norfside LB Outreach is collecting supplies and monetary donations for care packages that will be distributed to unhoused people in North Long Beach.

Norfside LB Outreach announced the supply drive to its Instagram followers on November 25, and are still accepting donations.

The following items are being requested:

-Anti-bacterial wipes
-Bamboo toothbrushes
-Band-Aids
-Beanies
-Blankets
-Camping lights
-Conditioners
-Cough drops
-Gloves
-Hand sanitizer
-Jackets
-Shampoos
-Sleeping bags
-Tarps
-Tents
-Thick socks
-0.5oz Neosporin

The goal is to collect enough items to assemble into 20 separate care packages for community members experiencing homelessness.

Those who wish to donate any of the above items to Norfside LB Outreach can send a direct message to their Instagram page @norfsidelb_outreach or email [email protected] to arrange a drop off time.

Used items are also being accepted, which volunteers will wash prior to distribution.

Monetary donations can be made through Venmo, to the account @nlbdonations.

Items that unhoused individuals can use to protect themselves from the cold are especially crucial now that temperatures are dropping.

Prolonged exposure to the cold puts people at risk of health problems such as hypothermia, frostbite and trench foot.

Approximately 700 people at risk of or actively experiencing homelessness die from hypothermia in the United States each year, according to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC.)

Even though California experiences less extreme temperatures than most other regions in the country, exposure to the elements can still prove deadly.

According to a report on exposure related conditions by NHCHC’s Clinician Network “some of the most dangerous environmental situations occur in temperate climates when the temperature drops suddenly.”

Malnutrition makes unhoused people especially vulnerable to hypothermia.

“It does not have to be cold for a person to experience hypothermia. If [the individual] has suffered ongoing exposure to 70° F temperatures without thermal protection and food or nutrients, he or she will finally become hypothermic,” Stephen Hoffman, MD, attending physician at San Francisco General Hospital Emergency Department said in the report.

The lives of 57 unhoused people who died during 2019 were mourned at Long Beach Homeless Coalition’s annual Homeless Memorial Service last December, as reported by the Long Beach Post.

During the City of Long Beach’s Point In Time Homeless Count in Jan 2020, there were 2,034 individuals who reported experiencing homelessness in Long Beach.

Norfside LB Outreach was founded earlier this fall by five North Long Beach residents.