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If you’ve driven along US-301 in White Plains over the last several days, you may have seen our new billboard.

It shows a child, unwashed and wearing dirty clothes, sitting against a concrete wall with eyes staring down.

Homeless AND a pandemic?

Most of us know how much more difficult our lives have been this year. But imagine being homeless during this pandemic. Imagine having no place to sleep at night and suddenly the weather has turned cold and shelter spaces are limited because of social distancing protocols.

Imagine not only worrying over where your next paycheck will come from but also your where next meal will come from, your next shower. What if you get sick? How can you get tested? And who will care for you?

That’s the reality for far too many people right now in Southern Maryland. At LifeStyles, our homeless outreach staff and volunteers see this each day.

But even those who want desperately to help the homeless are limited in what they can do because of the pandemic. It takes a community coming together with creativity and a commitment to serve others against overwhelming odds. We’re seeing it happen.

We are so grateful for the support of our community members and local organizations in offering the help and resources that are so desperately needed.

Much work remains, and we will not give up.

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness — or if you know someone who is — please call us any day of the week, any time of day at 1-866-293-0623.

If you want to help, we invite you to donate or volunteer.

Because being homeless during a pandemic is terrifying. And together, we can make a difference.