Good Neighbor Settlement House in downtown Brownsville is seeking donations to serve the community’s homeless population, which faces unique challenges during the pandemic.
Brownsville’s unsheltered residents have weathered extreme heat, a tropical storm, and a months-long pandemic without permanent shelter, as well as closures and restrictions that make it difficult for those living on the street to access services like public restrooms, hot meals and personal protective equipment.
Good Neighbor’s executive director Hugo Zurita said the shelter is currently stocked on women and children’s clothing but is seeking donations of shorts, pants and shirts. Those donations can be given used. Donations of socks and underwear are also needed but must be purchased new.
In a Facebook post last week, the shelter sought men’s pants and shorts in sizes 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, and 40, men’s shirts in sizes small through extra large, men’s socks in sizes 9-12, and men’s underwear in sizes small through large.
In addition to the distribution of daily bagged meals, Good Neighbor’s food bank collects non-perishable donations for drives. The shelter has been assisting the city with monitoring Brownsville’s homeless population for COVID-19 symptoms, as well as providing hand sanitizers and masks.
Zurita said that Good Neighbor has yet to encounter a client displaying symptoms, which would require facilitating testing through the city.
“We have a street outreach team,” Zurita said. “Our team goes out to the community and we give out hand sanitizers, masks, wipes for the homeless community. We check their temperature. We ask them the basic questions — how are you feeling, do you have any symptoms?”
“We do work with the city in case that does happen. If anyone shows any kind of symptoms or any kind of fever, we do contact the city and then the city will contact us, and they will do a test,” Zurita said.
Anybody wishing to contribute to the distribution of supplies can bring donations to the day shelter’s downtown location at 1254 E. Tyler St. in Brownsville, or by calling (956) 542-2386.