Across the U.S., homeless people are criminally punished for being in public even when they have no alternative, nowhere else to go. That’s according to findings from a 2014 study by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.
The criminalization of homeless people is something Wren Fialka has seen firsthand. Four years ago she launched Spread the Love Commission. Fialka took all her savings and combined them with donations from local businesses and the support of a few friends. She traveled to places with high homeless populations—San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, New York City, Washington DC—and distributed care packages containing everyday items that homeless people told her they needed: socks, T-shirts, toothbrushes and toothpaste, warm clothing, blankets, and the list goes on. During a distribution she held in Miami with one volunteer, she remembers how a simple item in one of those care packages stirred a deeply emotional response. Hear more:
Spread the Love Commission is hosting a fundraiser 6 p.m. to midnight, Friday, February 22 at Hole Bowl. Tickets are here.