YPSILANTI – Due to increased job loss and interruptions in income due to the coronavirus outbreak, SOS Community Services has expanded its outreach to meet emerging needs of the community.
The organization aimed at ending family homelessness in Washtenaw County has announced that its food pantry will provide pre-bagged groceries at the door -- no appointments necessary -- between 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesdays. Everyone in need of food is eligible to receive this service. Those waiting in line to collect groceries are asked to maintain six feet of distance from others.
SOS’s food pantry is located at 114 N. River St. in Ypsilanti.
Additionally, SOS has placed portable toilets outside its two locations on River St. and at 101 S. Huron St. in Ypsilanti. With the mass closure of public restrooms, homeless individuals living outside do not have a place to use the bathroom. Sink stations with soap are positioned outside the portable toilets so that everyone can properly wash their hands in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
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Even during the pandemic, SOS continues to help families experiencing homelessness obtain housing. Since the pandemic began, SOS has found housing for three families and case workers continue to meet with families via video conferences and deliver critical supplies including food, cleaning supplies and diapers.
“Most of the people we work with at SOS are hourly workers," Rhonda Weathers, executive director, said in a statement. "Many have lost their jobs and income because of the virus. We also have noticed many people requesting help for the first time. Our food program has seen a 31% increase in requests for groceries since the pandemic started. We hope everyone who needs help from SOS knows that we are here for them. We will continue to help them with food, housing, and other basic needs in the weeks and months ahead.”
To make a donation to help families experiencing hunger, job loss and homelessness during the pandemic, visit www.soscs.org.