You've probably searched Facebook markets, online stores and local businesses for masks and gloves, and you probably didn't find them. Finding Personal Protective Equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for all communities but especially for vulnerable populations.
The Peacemaking Project in Syracuse is trying to fill the need.
When they received shipments of gloves and masks from the county and their partners at St. Joseph’s Hospital, project coordinator Leah Russell says they asked how many she needed.
"I said how many masks can you get us," said Russell.
The Peacemaking Project is already familiar with community members from their restorative justice and crime prevention programs.
Now, they’re riding around those same neighborhoods handing out masks and gloves to any person they see who needs them.
"Our communities struggle with access to resources all of the time let alone during a global pandemic. So we really need to try to reach a critical mass of people wearing masks so we can flatten the curve and prevent community spread," said Russell.
The Peace Making Project also delivers masks to the homes of locals with high health risks, and low access.