What We Do
BACK@YOU supplies backpacks to those experiencing homelessness filled with essentials that help them survive life on the streets. Along with those items, there is a scarf, handmade with love, letting the recipient know that there is kindness, comfort and respect being given to them. Our goal is to make each person on the streets know that they are not invisible, they matter, and they are worthy of warmth, both literally and figuratively.
25% of the homeless are mentally ill
17% are chronically homeless
7% of the homeless are military veterans
Since 2014 We have distributed over...
Most people have a home where they keep their belongings. When someone is homeless, a backpack is often the only place that they have to keep their personal and necessary items safe.
14,000 Pairs of Socks
Socks are the most needed and least donated items to homeless shelters and organization. This year we will put seven pairs of socks in each of our backpacks.
4,000 Pairs of Gloves
Each backpack gets a pair of knit gloves and a pair of ski gloves. The knit gloves are great for warmth before the temperatures get too cold and until they get wet. The ski gloves are waterproof and much warmer for the bitterly cold weather.
2,000 Fleece throws
Fleece throws can be used to hold in warmth, as a pillow, or as ground cover.
Our hoodies are heavy and zippered for layering. It is all about holding in the body heat in the winter.
2,000 Handmade scarves
We receive handmade scarves from volunteers all over the country!
Knit hats are important for warmth. If there is nowhere for a person to get out of the cold in freezing temperatures, it becomes critical to keep their head covered to hold in body heat and prevent hypothermia.
10,000 Hand and body warmers
All of our backpacks are loaded with 18-hour hand/body warmers and 10-hour hand warmers. Since we added these to our backpacks many of our homeless neighbors who would have suffered from frostbite have been able to keep warm enough until help was available to get them out of the cold.
6,500 notebooks, pens, flashlights
Everyday items that many of us take for granted are not always easily accessible to someone without a home. We add these things to our backpacks for basic conveniences.
Why We Are Here
Because Awareness, Compassion, and Kindness Yield Open Understanding for the Homeless
Knowing who our homeless neighbors are and what factors contribute to homelessness reminds us that we are all people, we all have dignity, and we all deserve respect.
Knowing our homeless neighbors opens our eyes and hearts to their joys and sorrows. Caring for people is at the core of BACK@YOU. If we know them, we must also care about them.
Knowing and caring empower us to act to help make the lives of our homeless neighbors better. We do this through simple acts of kindness. We cannot do everything, but we can do something.
If we know and care and act, we cannot help but understand. A home is not what makes you a person or earns you dignity. We’re all in this life and world together. We’re all neighbors.