(ANSA) – NEW YORK APR 7 – An organization is placing sanitation units to wash hands and have access to clean water under bridges and in parks in Atlanta, Georgia, as a way to “foster a sense of dignity for the most in need “amid the coronavirus pandemic
The company Love Beyond Walls is in charge of installing the spaces to wash the hands for those who do not have access to a sink and water
“The coronavirus hit and the public places where they went to wash their hands (restaurants, libraries, stores, etc.) were closed,” said Terence Lester, who runs Love Beyond Walls, an award-winning Atlanta-based organization that has reinvented the way to help and advocate for the homeless
Lester spent almost half of his life helping people facing homelessness live with dignity
As the pandemic began to spread through large cities, where the “homeless” generally inhabit the most and push hospitals to their best capacity, Lester understood the existential challenges these people would face in trying to avoid contracting the deadly virus.
Something so simple and so essential in the pandemic, like washing your hands, would be impossible for the homeless
An idea occurred to his wife, Cecilia Lester, while she was in the family kitchen one night last year.
Place portable sinks throughout the city so that the homeless could wash their hands without problems
Soon after, they created Love Sinks In: portable sanitary units that hold several liters of water and include hand soap.
Lester found a vendor in Florida who built the sinks, which cost $ 100 each and were paid for primarily by donations.
Rapper Lecrae bought the first 15
Initially, 51 toilets were placed under bridges, in parks and other places around Atlanta where the city’s 3,200 homeless people gathered.
The concept was so well received that Love Sinks In is now in 52 cities, including Dallas, Chicago and Columbus, Ohio.
“The laws have created this framework that being poor or experiencing homelessness means that you are a criminal or that you have done something,” said Lester, 38. “So there has been this social isolation that they experience”
“Our work is deeply rewarding. We work primarily with African-Americans who confront systemic racism that leads to impoverishment,” he continued