Terence Lester is traveling around Atlanta placing portable sinks outside so that those who are homeless can also stay safe during the coronavirus, CNN reports.
Lester is the executive director of Love Beyond Walls, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless. As a teenager, Lester experienced homelessness and the struggles they face are problems he’s all too familiar with. The difficulties are intensified with this pandemic and Lester says he wants to do whatever he can to help.
“All the news reports are saying wash your hands. But the homeless population often can’t. I was trying to think of how they will survive. How can they get through this when they can’t even wash their hands? So, I decided to start there,” Lester said.
The portable stations are wash basins that are usually used for camping. They come equipped with a soap dispenser and sink that connects to a foot pump to dispense water from a 5 gallon tank. Everyday, Lester and his team pick up the sinks to clean them and refill the water and soap. Before he could even finish putting together the first sink, a man walked up to use it.
“Dimitry lives on the streets around our center, and he came up and asked if he could wash his hands. He hadn’t washed them yet because he hadn’t had any water,” Lester said.
In a video posted to social media, Dimitry explained how important the units were. “You have to wash your hands; if you don’t you are going to get sick. If you touch anything, then wash your hands,” Dimitry said.
Dmitry, was the first person to use the station yesterday to wash his hands.
He told us he hadn’t been able to wash his hands because he hadn’t had any water. This was his first response!
.#lovebeyondwalls @lovebeyondwalls pic.twitter.com/rGmsYTLpFV
— lovebeyondwalls (@LoveBeyondWalls) March 19, 2020
Gospel recording artist Lecrae and Reach Records have stepped up to the plate to provide the first 15 units, assisting with assembly and placing them around the city. Lester hopes that more will chip in and make it possible to install units all over the United States.
“It is encouraging to me that someone like him and the platform he has, that he is willing to roll up his sleeves and serve alongside [us]. I hope this catches on and spreads across the country. Even more than that, these sinks can spark the conversation of what else we can do to help the homeless facing this pandemic,” Lester said.
To learn more about Lester’s efforts and donate to his cause, visit www.lovebeyondwalls.org.
-Because of Them We Can