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Published: Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at 11:56 p.m.

Homeless need survival basics

  • There are more than 1,000 homeless people in Alachua County, but only approximately 60 shelter beds are available each night. That leaves most homeless people constantly exposed to the elements, including a plentiful supply of mosquitoes and high temperatures.
    The Home Van does its best to meet the basic needs of the ever-growing homeless population, but donations are at a critical low. The group is reaching out to the Gainesville Community for donations.
    Mosquito repellent and bottled water are desperately needed. Drop items off at 307 SE 6th St. Call 372-4825 to arrange a time.
    Cash donations are always accepted and appreciated. Checks can be made payable to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and mailed to The Home Van, 307 SE 6th St., Gainesville, FL 32601.

    Give non-perishables for families in need

  • Did you know that there is a large group of migrant workers who do not have enough food to feed their families here in Alachua County? Gainesville Harvest gets food to more than 600 families who need help feeding their children.
    Donations of "summer survival foods" are still needed, such as water, peanut butter, jelly, tuna, Vienna sausages, canned fruit, canned and powdered milk, juice, crackers, spaghetti-os, pop tarts, soup, Ramen noodles, cereal, pork and beans, mayonnaise, raisins, sardines, canned chicken, ketchup, instant oatmeal, dried fruit, artificial sweeteners, nuts and instant grits.
    Call 378-3663 for drop-off information.

    How you can be a 'friendly visitor'

  • Catholic Charities offers programs to aid family caregivers and the disabled living alone.
    Volunteers in the Respite Program provide secure companionship for a frail family member while the caregiver takes a much-needed break.
    Friendly Visitors provide a similar service to the disabled living alone and may do simple errands such as purchasing groceries.
    Volunteers do not administer medications or perform housework, but they do provide an irreplaceable service.
    The time commitment is two to four hours a week. There is no charge to recipients.
    If you want to volunteer or know someone in need of assistance, contact Linda Gardner at 372-0294.

    Write for pets

  • Energetic, creative people are needed to work on Gainesville Pet Rescue's fund-raising committee and to assist in writing grants. If you have an interest in helping increase the adoption of cats and dogs in Alachua County, call 331-1087.
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