Life as a b-grade professional super hero
Have you heard about the real life super hero movement? Increasingly, in cities across the country, adult men and women are donning disguises and taking to the streets. They patrol high crime and impoverished areas in hopes of assisting those in need.
Pictured here is a man who calls himself Thanatos, The Dark Avenger. At Vancouver, B.C.’s notorious intersection of Hastings and Main streets where the city has corralled the disenfranchised Thanatos makes his rounds delivering bundles of plastic sheets to protect against the cold and rain, dry socks, jars of peanut butter and jam.
At first glance a person referring to themselves as a real life superheroes seemed childish or silly. Then it occurred to me that the work performed by the people that make up Evansville’s Homeless Services community is similar to the mission of these brave men and women. Thanks to the people at HUD and our generous local and state community we even get paid a salary.
Sure our costumes fall short of the Marvel induced ideal and we can’t fly without passing through airport security but I know the members of the team pictured here and they possess the powers to defuse explosive situations, transport people at alarmingly efficient speeds, and to document a person’s true identity. Their powers include super listening rather than hearing, extreme patience more than speed, and a supernatural sense of humor to offset the steady frustrations facing the most vulnerable citizens.
So tell the truth. Is there a super hero inside of you?
Help an individual. Even helping one individual can make a small change for the better. If you see someone who needs help, talk to them.
Help create a dialogue about poverty. Simply opening up discussion in your local community, and on a global scale, can help work towards alleviating it. Challenge your friends and family’s assumptions about poverty.
Volunteer. There are tons of ways to help out in your community through direct action. Ask at your local religious organization, or non-profit. Check out programs at your local library and see if they need assistance.
Donate. Donations to your local and global organizations are incredibly important. Many of these organizations rely on donations to survive and serve their communities.
• Non-perishable Food (Canned food, snack items)
• Bottled Water
• $5 McDonalds or Walmart gift cards
• Bus tokens
• Adult Socks and Underwear
• Cleaning Supplies
• 18-20 Gallon Storage Totes
Each week, our Homeless Outreach Team takes food bags, hygiene products, and other necessities to 30 to 50 individuals and families living on the streets.
Outreach Bag Ingredients
Plastic two-handle bags or reusable shopping bags Ramen Noodle Cups, Pasta or Soup (easy-open cans)
• Beanie Weenies
• Vienna Sausage
• Potted meat
• Tuna (cans or packages)
• Peanut butter & Crackers or Cheese (individual size)
• Protein Bars Vegetables (easy-open cans)
Fruit (canned or cups) or Applesauce Cereal (individual size)
1-2 Snack Items
• Granola Bars
Bottled Water or Juice (two per bag in summer)
Napkin & Plastic Eating Utensils (packaged in a small plastic baggie)
Other Outreach Supplies
Backpacks, Sleeping bags & Tents Small Sewing Kits
Paper Goods: Toilet paper, paper towels, feminine hygiene products Socks & Underwear – Men’s & Women’s
Jeans, T-Shirts, & Sweatshirts – Men’s & Women’s Travel-size Hygiene Products – Toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, soap, lotion, shave cream or gel, deodorant
Coats, Gloves & Hats Dark colored blankets
For the Newly Housed
When we are able to obtain housing for individuals and families, they generally do not have many belongings as they have been in shelter or on the street. The Housing Starter Kit, furniture and other supplies helps to fill this need.
Housing Supplies Needed
KITCHEN: Silverware (knives, forks, spoons); Cooking Utensils (large spoons, knives, spatula, pot holders, measuring cups, measuring spoons, etc.); Frying pans, sauce pans, lids; Dishes (cereal bowls, fruit/pudding bowls, cups, glasses, large & small plates); Misc. (aluminum foil, sandwich bags, can opener, salt/pepper shakers, salt & pepper, silverware organizer, ice cube trays, etc.) LINEN: Sets of sheets, pillows, blankets, bath towels, shower curtain & rings, dish towels, wash cloths, sponges
CLEANING SUPPLIES: Broom, dust pan, waste basket, cleaning solutions (toilet, dish, kitchen, window, dusting, etc.), toilet brush, plunger, paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex), laundry basket, detergent, trash bags PERSONAL SUPPLIES: soap, deodorant or antiperspirant, tooth paste, tooth brush, feminine hygiene products
CONTAINERS: 30 gal. plastic tubs with lids and sturdy handles; 13 gal. tall kitchen trash can; small, round laundry basket ($1 at Dollar Tree)
Twin, Full or Queen Size Beds & Frames
Small Shelves or TV Stands
Table & Chairs
Couches & Loveseats