Drawing on our national phone survey with houseless community representatives, in-person interviews, focus groups, and personal experience, we are creating a web- and paper-based "RESTING SAFE Toolkit".

The Toolkit will include multi-media resources to houseless communities gain information about environmental hazards at their sites, such as pamphlets, zines, posters, short tutorial videos, illustrated guides, links to local site history maps. It will also eventually include information about how to access soil/air quality testing materials, case studies of various approaches, and other supports. In addition, we are developing an online platform for houseless people to "crowd source" even more suggestions, such as ideas for keeping rodents at bay, links to information about safe gardening practices, and more.

Our Portland-based team has already created a pamphlet with tips and tricks for preventing mold and mildew, and are in the process of developing a zine focused on fire safety and another for dealing with rodents and pests.

Our Baltimore-based team is currently developing protocols for communities to find out more about air pollution in their area, by collecting spider webs. In coming months, our goal is to also begin developing soil testing and mitigation protocols.

See below for Toolkit Elements.


Mold & Mildew

Mold and mildew can wreak havoc on our bodies, and many people suffer from symptoms that they don’t realize are due to mold. Symptoms can range from runny nose, headaches, rashes, fatigue, depression, and memory problems, to more serious health problems such as respiratory or neurological conditions. Mold exposure has also been found to be associated with cancers.

Mold grows on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint, as well as on tents, tarps, and interior walls. Mold growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth. It is not necessary to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.


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Diesel Particulate Matter

We are currently developing protocols and short video tutorials for collecting and testing spider webs, in order to learn about diesel particulate matter. Stay tuned for details…