Lolly Galvin didn’t even speak to a homeless person until she was 31 years old. She’d been influenced, like many others, to believe that individuals living on streets and sidewalks were dangerous addicts who’d put themselves in these situations through laziness or licentiousness. Not so, Galvin’s found, and over the last four months she’s raised $12,000 for what she calls Dignity Bags and this week she took off on a 12-city tour of America to take the homeless outreach she’s been so successful with in Philadelphia on the road.
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“Homelessness doesn’t always look like someone on the side of the street – a lot of people feel like they can’t approach certain people and there’s a huge stigma towards homeless people,” she says. Her bags are full of little things that she’s learned, through her regular interactions with people in need, they actually really want: toiletries like soap and shampoo; clean, dry socks; nail clippers, combs and razors; and when she can, a high-protein easy-to-eat snack.