Crocheted Plastic Bag Mats
If you crochet, and have an excess of plastic grocery bags hanging around your house, please check out this video (sorry, I tried to embed, but it just wasn’t working). It’s a quick and easy way to create “yarn” out of plastic bags, then crochet it to create a cushy mat to help protect homeless people from the elements when sleeping outside. And even if you don’t know how to crochet, this 17-minute video (you can easily skip through the parts that you don’t need to see) will teach you how to crochet a mat with step-by-step instructions.
While I think this is a fantastic idea, writing this post makes me a little queasy: creating bed padding is just part of a band-aid approach to helping the homeless. Governments should provide at least temporary housing and assistance to people that are living in the streets to help them get back on track, and it sickens me that there are no programs in place to create a long term solution to this situation.
Still, the situation is what it is, and until radical changes are made, this is one of the little things we can do to help. If you knit or crochet, keep in mind you can also work on hats and scarves to keep street people warm. If you’re an avid knitter but can’t find the motivation to work on projects during the summer months (why knit something you won’t be able to use for another six months?), think about getting started on a collection of scarves and hats to deliver to the homeless in the winter. Check out the National Coalition for the Homeless to find a group in your area to help you distribute your work.