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.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Dog missing in Aldergrove since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Humboldt Broncos Jersey Day to commence despite closed classes

Students encouraged to still wear a jersey on Monday, April 6 to honour Saskatchewan hockey team

Six-year-old Langley girl reached out, literally, to school staff

Students and families blow kisses, put hands to heart, wave, and write notes of thanks

Langley shows good grasp of social distancing

Only one major gathering has been brought to RCMP attention

Staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 at Langley Lodge seniors home, Fraser Health confirms

The health authority is at the scene of the long term care home

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Most Read