‘We ran out of everything’: Spokane organizations seek gear for homeless

'We ran out of everything’: Spokane organizations seek gear for homeless

After the coldest October on record in Spokane, organizations that provide resources to the homeless are struggling to provide basic protection like hats and gloves.

“We ran out of everything, socks and gloves, at the beginning of this week,” said Susan Tyler-Babkirk, director of Women’s Hearth.

Most shelters and nonprofits that provide essentials like hats, gloves, socks, and scarves to those experiencing homelessness don’t stock up for winter until late November.

At Women’s Hearth, a day shelter open seven days a week, gloves, socks and scarves are “the big three,” Tyler-Babkirk said.

The shelter usually hands these items out as part of their Christmas gifts and starts getting lots of donations when the holiday season kicks off around Thanksgiving.

“Things start rolling in usually mid-November and December,” Tyler-Babkirk said.

They will often “squirrel away” a few coats along with other winter supplies to get them through the few cold weeks that often come before donations roll in, Tyler-Babkirk said.

“We know that this period is a little zone of emptiness before the holidays hit,” Tyler-Babkirk said.

After running out of things earlier this week, Women’s Hearth posted on Facebook to voice its need.

“I’m so grateful for the community to start realizing we better start sending things early,” Tyler-Babkirk said.

The major needs are gloves, socks, water resistant coats, “sensible” winter boots in all sizes, and size small underwear.

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