Suncoast resident helps those in need with Been There Bins
BRADENTON - "Welcome mat, I think that’s very important. It’s your place and you need to be welcomed into your place,” said Laura Licoski.
Licoski has had a passion for helping others for as long as she could remember. Her new project Been There Bins is part of a Facing Homelessness initiative that helps people move into a home after living on the streets.
"One of the things that I saw that was missing from these move ins was items that you wish you had when you first moved into housing," said Licoski. "So the Been There Bins got started because we’ve all been there and done that at some points in their lives.”
Licoski says the idea stemmed from her own personal struggle when she was living on the streets. She now helps people like Ashley Fort get those essential items when transitioning to a new home.
"It’s really something that you’re moving in and you just need everything to get started like that, you need someone to give you some kind of a support,” said Licoski.
Fort, a veteran, says she moved to Bradenton a month ago and has no family to rely on.
"I just fallen on tough times and I had a job offer here, but I didn’t have the resources to get housing or anything like that, that I needed to, to get back on my feet,” said Fort.
Fort found help getting housing by Turning Point and Licoski helped supply the bins with items that most people don’t consider when moving out on their own.
"A flashlight is something that I think is a really big thing, a pair of scissors, a notepad and pen, just items like that – toenail clippers, a plunger. Almost everybody when you move in is like ahhhh you don’t think about a plunger until you really need one,” said Licoski.
Other items in the Been There Bins are pot and pans, dish and laundry soap, and other toiletries that most of us take for granted.
Licoski has had several non-profits and people donate items to her Been There Bins. If you’d like to donate or help out someone in need visit Facing Homelessness - Bradneton, FL Facebook page.