Chad Loder (@chadloder) is on my follow list because he does important work amplifying #GeorgeFloyd demonstrations and the police brutality they unjustly receive from law enforcement. Today, he posted a Twitter thread (linked at the bottom of this post) on some personal recommendations for supporting your unhoused neighbors.

His thread reminds me of the ‘Tactical Caring Kits’ that Patrick Skinner (@SkinnerPm), a colorful and thoughtful law enforcement officer in Georgia, has made to help his neighbors.

I’m quote-posting his recommendations as they appeared across several tweets. A link to the first tweet follows.

If you’re making care packages for neighbors who are unhoused, here’s some items that are super popular:

  • LED headlamps w/ batteries

  • Magazines, especially escapist stuff: travel, history, National Geographic, Outside, Popular Mechanics

  • Power packs for charging

  • Shoes

If you want to really make someone’s day, bring tents and sturdy tarps.

Tents take a beating. People get their tents slashed a lot. Angry face Most folks having to share tents.

Even spare tent-poles come in super handy.

If you’re not camping these days, think about donating your gear

COVID makes it impossible for follks to find any place to charge their “Obama phones” (subsidized mobile phones).

If I had more time, I’d come by with a generator every day and let folks charge up.

Clothes are always welcome.

People seem to have enough toothbrushes and combs.

People never say no to Marlboro Reds. Even just having some loosies to hand out will put a smile on people’s faces.

A cheap styrofoam cooler filled with ice and low-sugar Gatorade is a hit. Leave the ice behind.

Being homeless means you NEVER get anything ice cold or piping hot

If you’re doing hygiene care packages, don’t forget the people who have kinky hair!

Those fine-toothed combs aren’t doing it for folks with Afro-textured hair. Dry shampoo, wide toothed detangler comb, croc clips, some good-smelling detangler spray.

Breathable durags are nice.

Other items that help for fixed encampments:

Lots of trash bags for people to put garbage in.

People with limited mobility have a hard time bringing trash to the dumpsters hundreds of meters from their tent.

Depression and addiction also frankly make this hard for some folks.

Where I live in California, mosquitos and other biting insects are not a big problem.

If mosquito netting is a problem, mosquito netting is a real treat.

Citronella candles also seem popular. Mosquito repellant, less so - it’s sticky and makes dust and dirt stick to you.

This list is focused on the non-obvious stuff. I think most volunteers know about dental hygiene, wipes, maxi-pads, combs, etc.

Bring a couple bags of dry kibble for dogs, also for cats. Extra flea collars.

Also, dog treats! The camp mutts love the sound of my car now. Face with tears of joy

Here’s Chad’s tweet leading into this thread. Give him a follow.