- The co-founder of an NGO for the homeless led the installation of portable sinks with soap across Atlanta
- He did this so that those who do not have immediate access to soap and water can still observe proper handwashing, which is one of the ways to prevent the disease
- His initiative inspired other cities to do the same
Even before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as pandemic, experts have been reminding people to observe good hygiene, including proper handwashing using soap and water to decrease the risk of contracting the virus.
Terence Lester, co-founder of Love Beyond Walls, an NGO for the homeless, knows that this is hardly possible for the people he is advocating for since they do not have immediate access to soap and water.
This is why he came up with the idea of setting up portable handwashing stations in Atlanta.
“It’s needed now more than ever. If libraries, restaurants and other public spaces are all closed, then how would people who live on the streets get access to water? They are a part of the community whether they have a home or not,” Lester told Good Morning America.
He also shared that he is doing this because he himself experienced being homeless and doing this sends the message that there are members of the community who are being overlooked.
To date, his team of volunteers already set up more than a dozen of portable sinks with soap. Each station holds five to 10 gallons of water and are sanitized and refilled by volunteers on a daily basis.
Lester’s initiative inspired other cities such as New York City; Austin, Texas; and Oakland, California to do the same. “Recognizing those experiencing homelessness as ‘people’ and not ‘problems’ is important. I hope it leads us to think about how we can adequately address this issue nationally,” he said.
Bless your kind heart, Lester!