Homeless outreach project in “dire need” of hygiene supplies following flooding at Wallace Marine

Justin Davis, an outreach nurse with Northwest Human Services, listens to Rita Edward’s heart after she complained of chest pain at her camp in Wallace Marine Park on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Those who attend the East Salem Rotary Club meeting Friday can donate hygiene products to help homeless people who lost their belongings in a recent flood at Wallace Marine Park.

The Salem-based Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Project, run by Northwest Human Services is in “dire need” of hygiene products to support those impacted, the Rotary Club said in a news release.

Items can be donated at the rotary club meeting Friday, held noon at the Seymour Family Resource Center at 3745 Portland Rd. N.E. People can also take them to the HOAP Day Center at 694 Church St. N.E. Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Our outreach team and our HOAP team are incredibly short-staffed right now and they are just focused on keeping people clean, clothed, and de-escalated so they often don’t even think to ask me or share with me what their needs are,” said Kristin Kuenz-Barber, strategic partnerships manager for Northwest Human Services and and East Salem Rotary member, in the news release.

Hygiene supplies people can donate include travel-sized shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, bars of soap, feminine hygiene products, packs of tissues, bandages, lip balm, hand sanitizer, shaving cream, razors, wet wipes, and hairbrushes or combs.

“Please know that I recognize this is a long shot,” Kuenz-Barber said in the release, “but we don’t plan for these things to happen and there is so much need right now. In addition to the environmental issues, the camp in that area has experienced several deaths in the last few months; so, on top of the trauma people already have – now they have grief and a sense of hopelessness to add to their list of challenges.”

-Ardeshir Tabrizian