Things I Learned While Knitting

yarn ballsThis past Sunday I attended a Learn To Knit Party, benefiting the Women’s Daytime Drop In Center in Berkeley. A friend of a friend was putting it on to bring exposure to the center’s work with homeless women and children. This is the only daytime drop in center a homeless mother and her young children can go for safe refuge and support in the Bay Area (most homeless shelters are closed during the day, so if you are at one, you must pack up all of your possessions in the morning and return back at night).

I asked their volunteer coordinator what items they most needed at the center. Guess what? Toiletries (e.g., deodorant, toothpaste) and, drum roll….diapers! The only reason why they don’t need feminine hygiene products is because they recently received a gift in kind from a major manufacturer. When the center runs out of diapers they send the moms to Bananas, where they are allotted six diapers a day. Even if you have twins, you receive only six diapers. Six!

The volunteer coordinator also shared with us some interesting tidbits: The fastest growing homeless population is women and children. Their center is seeing a lot of moms who have been evicted from their homes due to foreclosure. These are single moms who were gainfully employed, paying the rent on time, but because their landlord didn’t keep up with the mortgage, the banks evicted them. What does one do when you have no monetary safety net or family support system? How can you simultaneously keep your full time job, look for a place to rent, pick your kid up from childcare/school, and get back to the homeless shelter every day in time to secure your spot for that night? Not to mention, standing in bureaucratic lines for hours with a screaming 3 year old?


  1. I’d love to hear more about the Learn to Knit Party. I was thinking that with beautiful yarn so much cheaper here that I might organize such a party on my return to Tucson with a raffle prize of some nice Italian merino yarn and a cover charge of diapers.

  2. Why are homeless shelters closed during the day? I typically see homeless men and some kids (both genders represented equally); however it really pains me to hear the mom/kid homeless demographic is on the rise. How truly sad.

    Daniel Tetreault.
    Sidney, BC


  1. […] and her partner were the host of last spring’s Learn to knit party, where Rachel F. and I first learned about WDDC, which was pivotal in the evolution of HAMO. If you are an East Bay local, please […]

  2. […] by the event that started it all, the Tucson contingent of Help A Mother Out organized a Learn-to-Knit Party […]

  3. […] diapers to Mel S. from WDDC, one of our FIRST partner agencies. Mel is the volunteer coordinator whom we met a little over a year ago. WDDC took 50 cases of diapers on […]

  4. […] Women’s Center. It was a full circle experience for me, since HAMO started as a result of learning that mothers in our own community were taking the bus across town to receive emergency diapers for […]

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