At the beginning of the shutdowns, the ladies of the Lamplighters costume shop decided to make fabric face masks to support Lamplighters. The team was comprised of Costume Shop Manager Melissa Wortman, and costumers Miriam Lewis, Hannah Velichko, and Judy Jackson, with occasional help from Judy Epstein. The costume shop crew raised over $3,600 for Lamplighters and made a total of about 450 masks, including about 120 masks donated to End Hep C SF.
The donated masks were given to participants in a new study called NOW (No One Waits) which offers free (and incentivized) hep C testing and treatment to homeless and marginally housed people and looks at the efficacy of starting treatment immediately after diagnosis (rather than having to navigate folks through the arduous process of navigating the medical system and getting Medi-Cal or whatever first). End Hep C SF is planning to give a mask to everyone that signs up for the program, rather than just everyone that gets tested (everyone getting tested or that comes by to talk gets a disposable mask each time). The original idea was to also create a sense of community by having a drop-in space where they could come and hang out and get food and just be inside in a friendly space for a while but sadly, of course, that is impossible at the moment. Participants do come back every couple of weeks to get medications/blood draws/answer surveys so we are at least building relationships. The masks also add to the sense of belonging to something since some of the staff wear them on top of PPE as well.
Thanks again to our gallant costume crew and their wonderful work!