For some, the holiday season is a time of celebration; a time to spend with family, friends and loved ones. But, for those individuals that are without a home or a safe and warm place to reside, the holiday season can seem more arduous than joyous.


I have begun putting together supply packs to assist those in need with some basic necessities that most of us take for granted. These packs come in two sizes; each containing: (1) Knit Beanie, (1) Winter Scarf, (1) Emergency Blanket, (2) Hand Warmers, (2) Toe Warmers, (1) Rain Poncho, assorted travel-sized toiletries, a small acrylic mirror, mini first-aid kit, cough drops and a variety of healthy snacks (some of which are gluten-free). The larger of these packs also include a pair of thermal socks and waterproof mittens.


At the turn of the century, I moved to New York and found myself without an apartment. On the evening of September 10th, 2001, having nowhere in particular to be, I came to be resting on a bench beneath Tower 2 of The World Trade Center; gazing up the side of the building and off into space, never knowing that it would be the last time that I would visit the Twin Towers. 2001 was a year of many firsts for me; as it turns out, my first time living in New York was also my first time living without an apartment or home. Over the following nine months, I found myself in places I would not have considered being in, associating with people I would likely, never had known and having done things that would probably be best left forgotten (but are not).

During this time I began compiling a list of things that I thought essential to maintaining some semblance of normalcy while adapting to my new set of circumstances. I had planned to put these items together into a kit and distribute them amongst my new circle of acquaintances. However, the realization that each of these packs would cost roughly a hundred dollars to assemble quickly put that thought on extended hiatus.


Now, 15 years after my initial displacement, I am finally ready to turn that interrupted thought into action. I have just about completed packing the first six prototype survival kits. These finished kits will be given out in November.


Although the inspiration for the production of these packs came from my experiences in New York, I will begin distribution of them in Boston, where quite honestly it is much more difficult to be without a place to stay. In New York, for 24 hours a day, it is possible to ride the trains across four boroughs and take a restroom equipped ferry over to the fifth. Bostonites have no such late-night respite from the elements or recourse for relief.


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