ANN ARBOR, Mich. – One issue exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic is homelessness throughout Metro Detroit.
Many people are struggling and some shelters weren’t able to take in those who needed help because of coronavirus.
Aside from not having a safe place to stay, another problem was created. Homeless individuals struggle to find the power to charge their cell phones. Many homeless people do keep a cell phone, that is how they can stay connected to services offering help.
A formerly homeless woman in Ann Arbor found a solution but is asking for help. Ariah Schgat, 28, said when she was homeless her phone was her lifeline to doctors, shelter services and more.
“Every morning I would have to leave, venture around, look for jobs and all that stuff,” she said.
Because of the pandemic, places that she would normally stop to rest and charge her phone were closed.
“It’s very nerve-wracking because every percent going down is another chance you could miss the call that could get you off the streets,” she said.
Now that Schgat is out of shelters, into a home and working two jobs -- she decided to create kits with battery packs to offer people power when it can’t be found. Inside the packs are batteries and universal cords for all types of phones. They also include wall charging blocks, individually wrapped alcohol wipes so they can sanitize the equipment or their hands.
A donor provided her with the startup cash and several friends helped her get Kyndness Tech off the ground. At first, she was able to make 30 kits. The kits were provided to homeless people for free. She is hoping to get more funding to create more kits.