If you’ve spent summer in a house with young people, you know there can occasionally be a run on food that leaves cupboards empty. That’s what we are experiencing right now at the HOPE 4 Youth Drop-In Center.
“Summer brings a new set of hurdles for young people who are experiencing homelessness,” said Director of Programs Mark McNamer. “It’s a time when youth are less likely to find indoor places to hang out or sleep. We provide a needed respite where they can hydrate, take a shower and pick up clothes and other supplies that make it easier to get through the hot weather.”
If you’re looking for a way to make an immediate impact, check our updated needs list which shows popular supplies that are low or out of stock right now. Anything off that list would be really helpful as we see an increase in youth needing our help this summer.
Food and hygiene pantry
The current list includes grab-and-go food ideas, hygiene items and some clothing. Individual bottles of water and Gatorade-type sports drinks are always a top need, but especially during the heat of Minnesota summers. Small cans of mosquito spray, tubes of sunscreen and lip balm also offer important protection.
Travel-size umbrellas can be packed in small totes are great for rainy days and can also provide a little shade and some protection from sunburn on the days when sunshine turns from uncomfortable to downright dangerous.
Besides sharing what’s in your pantry or picking up more during your next grocery run, you can purchase supplies from our Amazon or Target Wish List and have them shipped to us. The wish lists are the fastest way to get us goods. They’re delivered during business hours and can be on the shelves the same day they arrive.
Another way to help us is by hosting a HOPE 4 Youth Supply Drive in your neighborhood, or at your workplace, school or church. Collect needed food items, hygiene products, and gift cards (gas/restaurants) for our youth and then deliver them to us. To get started, click here to complete our form and tell us more about your drive. We’ll then be in touch to help with any details.
Several particular items in our clothing closet are also in short supply right now. Athletic shorts, short-sleeve shirts, new crew-neck t-shirts, and new and used flip-flops and sandals are appreciated, along with new underwear and ankle socks.
And even though it’s hot during the day, overnights can get chilly. Raincoats, fleece jackets, and hoodies are great ways for young people we serve to layer up to be comfortable in different weather conditions.
For more ideas on how to help us stock up this summer, visit our Donate Items page.