With hundreds of homeless families in Tampa Bay living in their cars, tents and in the woods, many of them in the area are dealing with some of the most extreme conditions that summertime in Florida has to offer. As rain storms pass through the area, additional threats arise, including the potential for the spread of diseases carried by mosquitoes, including the Zika virus.
Why mosquito kits? Since 2016’s outbreak of Zika made its way to Florida, Metropolitan Ministries has closely monitored the virus’ development in the Tampa Bay area. Once again, the Ministries is taking on the effort to proactively combat the potential disease spread among the homeless community. The Ministries’ Outreach Centers in Tampa and Holiday offer Mosquito Kits, based on the need of each requesting individual or family.
Metropolitan Ministries’ Mosquito kit includes…
· Mosquito spray
· Mosquito nets
· Standing water tablets
State officials have rolled out several tests and methods to combat the Zika virus in the wake of the outbreak in 2016, making great strides to combat and contain the virus. While the Ministries has seen a decline in concern over the Zika virus, staff and volunteers in the Outreach and Prevention Centers still report the need for the mosquito kits.
“Every day we have families and individuals come in who are living in places not meant for habitation and essentially outside or in a vehicle,” says James Dunbar, Associate Director of Outreach and Prevention.
In the month of June, Metropolitan Ministries Outreach Tampa had 993 families and single adults check-in to receive clothing to protect them from the elements while 350 families with minor children also checked-in with many of them having bug and mosquito bites and nowhere to go but outside or in a vehicle.