Sleeping Mats for San Angelo Homeless Being Made from Grocery Bags

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Local news outlets in San Angelo, Texas have reported that Project Dignidad, together with Mosaic (noted on their website as a “…faith-based organization serving people with intellectual disabilities”), is working to coordinate durable sleeping mats for homeless people which are made out of grocery bags. The mats are approximately three feet wide by six feet in length, and are not only soft but also durable – something which is badly needed for sleeping pads by homeless individuals in the area.

Recently presenting five such mats to the Project Dignidad staff, a group of Mosaic clients and volunteers from Calvary Lutheran Church were working to meet an existing need. “We have had these type of mats before and we really need them to pass them out,” explained Jeannie Solis, Project Dignidad’s director of services. “We are very blessed that Mosaic wanted to do this…They are easy to roll up and take with them wherever they go and they are waterproof,” she added. Project Dignidad serves approximately 600 people each month with clothing, emergency groceries, and other emergency items such as blankets. Since San Angelo’s ordinance prohibiting camping in non-designated properties went into effect, there has been an increase in the number of homeless people seeking such services. Many of these individuals look to Project Diginidad for the same.

The grocery bag mat-making started when a church member found online instructions for making the mats and contacted Mosaic. “When I saw it in action, it was amazing. What’s great about it for us, is that no matter what ability people have they are able to do it,” explained Ami Mitzell-Flint, Mosaic community relations officer. To begin with, the grocery bags need to be flattened, then folded and cut before they’re tied together and, in effect, crocheted. Each part of the process requires a different skill level, but Mosaic clients are up to the task. Approximately 800 bags are required to make one mat, which is also a fantastic way to reuse these bags which might otherwise end up in a landfill.

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