Anchorage, AK – With safety and added warmth in mind, Bean’s Café is partnering with TOTE Maritime Alaska, LLC (TOTE) for the third year to provide hundreds of warm vests for distribution to Anchorage’s most vulnerable.
“We’re proud to partner with Bean’s Cafe on this initiative”, says Milena Sevigny, Community Relations Program Manager forTOTE. “We chose orange and yellow fleece with reflective stripes to add warmth and help with visibility on the road. It’s a great program and we’re glad toplay a part supporting Bean’s Café on their mission to help those struggling in our community.”
The vests will help illuminate people who might be walking or biking at night. TOTE and Bean’s Café want to help ensure people who are experiencing homelessness stay visible to drivers during the fall and into winter, which is typically the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians. The Alaska Injury Prevention Center says historically, January is the most dangerous month for pedestrians in Anchorage. It says 20% of traffic fatalities in Alaska involve pedestrians.
"It's just a matter of providing an added layer of safety – both for pedestrians and the public," says Lisa Sauder, COO of Bean’s Cafe. “Hitting and injuring, or potentially killing, a pedestrian is traumatic for all involved. Vests make an individual more visible, able to be seen from a distance and from different angles. With the fleece component there will be an added layer of warmth, which we hope encourages people to wear it frequently.”
“Last Fall the Anchorage Daily News reported that there were 53 collisions involving pedestrians, making this initiative all the more important” said Art Dahlin, Vice President and Alaska General Manager of TOTE. “TOTE is grateful to continue our partnership with Beans Cafe on this important mission and look forward to serve the Alaskan community”
According to the United Way of Anchorage ,there are up to 1,094 homeless people in Anchorage, including nearly 100families with children.