Sometimes the smallest ideas have the biggest impact. Such was the case with the creation and assembly of homeless kits for Parkview Behavioral Health (PBH) patients.
The project began in the fall of 2016, and was initially generously funded by the PBH employees themselves. When other Parkview departments heard about the kits, they decided to come together and help. Now, with funds donated through the Parkview Foundation – the PBH Homeless Kits have the right support to provide comforts to more men and women in need.
“Forty percent of our population at PBH are homeless, so we wanted to give them something that they could leave with,” Rachel Bayon, RN, Parkview Behavioral Health, said. “A lot of these patients do not have anything at all. Or, if they did, it was lost or stolen. We wanted to continue this idea of community compassionate care outside of PBH.”
It was that idea and discussion among the team that brought PBH employees, including Rachel, Tonya Meyer, RN, Amy Barnes, nurse leader, and Katherine Avery, nursing services manager, together to create the kits that help meet basic hygienic needs in convenient travel-sized packages. Now, it has become a group effort among all PBH employees, with team members meeting once a month to assemble the kits.
The group assembles kits geared toward seasonal and gender-specific needs for the patients. To date, they have supplied more than 250 kits with a goal of 500 between now and next year. A lot of patients are reoccurring, so they do try and distribute one kit per patient every 30 days.
PBH includes the below items in their homeless kits and are happily accepting new, unopened items as donations:
- lip balm
- body wash
- feminine hygiene items
- baby wipes
- small water bottles
- snacks – protein bars, nuts
- shaving cream
For more information on Parkview Behavioral Health services or how you can make a difference with the homeless kits, visit Parkview.com/BehavioralHealth or call (260) 373-7500.