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REACH needs supplies for summer program

July 05, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- REACH, which provides shelter for the homeless during the cold-weather months, needs supplies for its summer program.

The summer shower and laundry program for the homeless is in desperate need of supplies, according to Jodie Stock, executive director of REACH.

REACH, which stands for Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless, is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those services, Stock said.

No appointments are necessary, although participants must be homeless, she said.

This is the second year that REACH has held the summer shower and laundry program, designed for the people who frequent the cold-weather shelter from fall to spring.

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Showers and laundry services are available for the homeless when the cold-weather shelter is open at its permanent location at REACH headquarters, 140 W. Franklin St., Suite 300 in Hagerstown.

The summer program bridges the gap between the time the cold-weather shelter closes in the spring and when it reopens in the fall, Stock said.

Personnel at the shelter know most of the homeless people in the area. Others who are not known are assessed by personnel when they first come in, Stock said.

That way, REACH not only can provide those people with a shower and clean clothes, but also hook them up with other services they might need.

"We have crisis intervention on Tuesdays and Thursdays," Stock said.

The most urgent needs include toilet paper, paper towels, general cleaning supplies, deodorant and trial-size toothpaste.

Towels are provided, as are shampoo and other toiletries.

Stock said she is encouraging churches, Sunday school classes and places of business to host supply drives.

"The tough economic situation has taken its toll on nonprofits and REACH is not immune," she said.

Those wishing more information may call 301-733-2371, ext. 101, or go to www.reachcaregivers.org.

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