MOSASP plays critical role during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, New Life Evangelistic Center (NLEC) continued its mission in caring for the homeless during these critical times. Headquartered in the St. Louis area, NLEC’s mission includes caring for the hungry and homeless in some of Missouri’s largest population centers. These vulnerable individuals needed assistance, because shelters and other safe locations were closed or were full. NLEC took to the streets to address the needs. As sanitary items (personal protective supplies) were becoming almost impossible to find, Larry Rice, Founder and Director of NLEC, began to think of ways to ensure that the homeless were getting items that could help them stay clean in an environment that was proving very difficult. NLEC even began the daunting task of making their own hand sanitizer to minimize virus spread through these vulnerable individuals. As a frequent visitor to the Missouri State Agency for Surplus Property (MOSASP), Rice was extremely grateful when hygiene kits became available. These kits included shampoo, hair conditioner, oral hygiene supplies, hair brush and comb, shaving supplies, deodorant, tissues, body and skin care items, and hand sanitizer.

MOSASP was only offering emergency services between March 24 to May 1, which included the transfer of hygiene kits to its donees.

NLEC acquired 2,000 hygiene kits. Rice said that NLEC distributed the kits in early April to homeless individuals in St. Louis and Springfield. By Easter, he had handed out all of the kits he acquired from MOSASP.

“This is a critical time for the homeless. Not only are they facing COVID-19, but they are suffering financially as well,” Rice said.

He added that these individuals are in cars, tents, and derelict homes; and do not have access to proper hygiene.

“It was a blessing we were able to acquire this,” he said.

MOSASP is grateful that the agency was able to make such a positive difference throughout the state. When many medical items and basic care-necessities were non-existent, MOSASP was able to provide these items to agencies and organizations. “I am pleased and thankful that we were able to address many needs throughout the state of Missouri. MOSASP exists to assist our donees, especially in times likes these,” MOSASP Manager Lee Ann Braun said.