Kim Snow of Kimz Angels, seen here distributing food and essentials to the homeless in Langley on March 1, now wears a mask and gloves. She said panic buying has depleted supplies of disinfectant wipes. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Panic buying depletes supplies of disinfectant wipes distributed by Langley homeless assistance agency

Bulk buyers condemned as ‘selfish’

A shortage of disinfecting wipes as a result of panic buying during the COVID-19 outbreak is impairing efforts to prevent the virus from spreading to homeless people in Langley.

That’s according Kim Snow, founder of Kimz Angels, a non-profit group that distributes food and essential supplies to the needy.

“We’re running out of wipes,” Snow told the Langley Advance Times.

“These people [hoarders] are just being selfish,” Snow fumed.

“If they have so much, they should call us and donate.”

READ MORE: Soap and hot water in short supply for Langley’s homeless during coronavirus outbreak

Snow said the non-profit has improvised a less-than-ideal solution by handing out baby wipes together with disinfectants during their regular distribution.

“That’s the only thing we can do,” Snow commented.

“It’s sad out there.”

Snow is now wearing a mask and gloves to distribute food and other supplies from a Kimz Angels truck to homeless people at various locations throughout Langley on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“My mask is protecting them from me, not me from them,” Snow explained.

Living on the streets in harsh weather and unsanitary conditions means many are already ailing, Snow elaborated.

“They normally cough and sneeze anyway, because they’re not healthy,” Snow said.

She is also educating the homeless about the spread of the virus.

“They don’t watch TV, so they don’t know how bad it is,” Snow related.

While there has, to date, been no reports of homeless people contacting the COVID-19 virus, Snow said they are an especially vulnerable population who don’t have the option of staying home to self-isolate from the virus.

“Where do they go?” Snow asked.

She would like to see an effort made by senior government to get homeless off the streets for the duration of the outbreak, both to protect them and the general population.

There are a handful of places the homeless can wash their hands, including overnight at the Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope homeless shelter, and some churches, public buildings, and outreach centres.

But there’s no drop in centre with services like showers and laundry, something Snow been pushing for in Langley for some time.

At the Salvation Army Gateway of Hope shelter in Langley, sit-down hot meals have been discontinued.

An announcement posted online said “due to recent developments and precautionary measures as a result of COVID-19, Gateway of Hope will be offering bag lunches for community meals until further notice. Thank you for your understanding and for keeping us and the people we serve in your prayers.”

Salvation Army B.C. division commander Lt. Colonel Jamie Braundsaid they “currently do not have any cases that we know of in our facilities; however, we do work with two very vulnerable populations: the homeless and the elderly. These two groups are more susceptible to catching the virus because of several factors, so we are being extra vigilant, while still serving with respect and dignity.”



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusHomelessLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Our View: Province needs to crack down on COVID-spreading events

Illicit parties and rule-breaking gatherings need to be stopped

Many questions for Langley teachers as return to school approaches

Immune-compromised teachers are among those waiting to hear about plans

Summerset keeping ‘live music alive’ with weekly outdoor concerts at Fort Langley eatery

Sundays in August will see a ticketed audience of no more than 50 seated with social distance

Postcards from kids in Aldergrove to uplift isolated seniors amidst COVID

United Way launched Intergenerational Postcard Club in August, matching up kids with older pen pals

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read