recently began a campaign offering pink reusable water bottles to New Orleans's
unhoused population. They're hoping that local businesses will open their doors
to these individuals and offer refills on water and access to public bathrooms.
Although the campaign was only launched a little over a week ago, many New
Orleans restaurants have come forward, volunteering to participate. Unhoused
individuals receive updated lists through a daily newsletter that alerts them
about which restaurants have agreed to participate. To be included, restaurants
should contact Southern Solidarity at firstname.lastname@example.org or through their Instagram, @southern_solidarity. An Instagram post from the organization noted
that they "hope to deepen a culture of care in New Orleans through acts like
Access to water and restrooms has consistently been a problem for New Orleans's unhoused population, but the pandemic has presented even greater obstacles. Luckily, organizer Jasmine Araujo saw the need and met it, founding grassroots organization Southern Solidarity. The organization quickly grew and now has 48 people onboard. Every day, volunteers head Downtown to distribute food and supplies to over 300 unhoused New Orleanians. Recently, they've begun to expand their services, also offering medical care and access to legal services.
Southern Solidarity centers the unhoused in all of its initiatives, featuring leaders who have been or remain unhoused. Still, their work is intersectional, and volunteers wearing Southern Solidarity t-shirts have been seen at the Black Lives Matter protests throughout New Orleans. Araujo notes that the organization is led by black, queer, and formerly incarcerated individuals, and that, ultimately, organizers would like to help dismantle the systems that lead to oppression, ensuring food justice and permanent housing for all.