Recently Flo Mims reached out to me to chat about her work providing for the needs of people who live on the streets of large cities in the Southern US. I’m really excited, especially in this global time of need, to share her little interview with you about her work, Operation Heart! Flo works as a vehicle driver, and has taken advantage of her geographical range to find people in need around her; her wide-reaching “day-job” has given her the ability to travel to help people.
I think this is a fantastic lesson in using your paid job to help you find opportunities for real superhero work. You have been put where you are for a reason.
Me: Hey Flo, can you send me a list of the greatest needs you have?
The greatest needs I have are finding what I want to share: food, drinks, clothing, safer sex supplies, and harm reduction supplies (naloxone, new syringes, etc.) I seek out non-monetary donations of all of these items.
Me: Where do you usually work?
I work all over the Southern United States, but primarily in Atlanta, GA, Augusta, GA, Greenville, SC, Columbia SC, Asheville, NC, and Charlotte, NC.
Me: What are the greatest challenges you face?
The greatest challenges are safety risks and just having enough supplies for people. There is also a belief that help is specifically about money or housing, and those areas really are different from what I contribute (and very broad areas!) I constantly study languages and am working on sign language currently in order to break the most barriers.
Me: How did you become inspired to do this work?
I became inspired through knowing people who struggled with houselessness, hunger, isolation, addictions, and illness. I feel very protective of other people. I am glad to gain the trust of the people I help. Some of them can’t get into shelters because they don’t meet the criteria (drug problems, can’t make the curfew, really anything.) I have [medical condition redacted for privacy] that has finally recovered some, so I know what it is like to be misunderstood.
Me: Finally, how can people join your cause?
The Wix Site is https://flomims.wixsite.com/
Flo is currently upgrading her work to a 501(c)3, and will be including houseless people by asking them to serve as officers on the board as well. Thank you for helping her out!