Vernon`s marginalized women have been getting more help late in 2017 and can look forward to expanded assistance in 2018.
Angie Lohr`s Hope Outreach began hitting Vernon streets on weekend nights when no help was available for women on the street.
With more volunteers coming on board, that help may be available some week nights
“We had probably another ten women come out. So we’ve got our weekends booked – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Now if these ten women finish their shadow shifts and they want to continue hopefully we can expand to Monday’s Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
Another orientation session for volunteers is going to be held in January.
Lohr also has a narcan team going out once a week.
“They’ve got special narcan t-shirts. We’re focusing on men and women just because both needed it. I’ve always kind of kept that separate.”
Lohr says the team seems to be going well and she`s hoping be able to expand that service to twice a week.
The reception from the community has been positive.
“I mean if anything, send out a big thanks to the community. They have really helped out a lot with Christmas gift packages that people have been dropping off, extra makeup and clothing. It’s really been overwhelming support.”
Lohr says she has applied for some grants to help find money for supplies and such.
Now, Lohr is closer to be able to provide street women with a new app for cell phones called Yodel Me to give them another level of safety.
It`s an app that street women can use that would alert a monitor if they don`t check in regularly.
“So when they go out to do their shift they’ll check in at 6:30, they’ll check out at 8:30. If something should happen and they don’t check out then I can go into our motherboard or the system locator and you can see where everybody is.”
Lohr is bringing some social work and medical students on board to help with the program.
She says some companies have indicated they are willing to donate some phones and a monitoring company has agreed to monitor the app for free.