Groups work to get masks to people without homes amidst unhealthy air quality

N-95 masks are recommended for poor air quality. Photo by Ellen Meny.

EUGENE, Ore. - Two Eugene organizations are handing out free respirator masks to battle the continuing poor air quality.

First Christian Church on Oak Street and the White Bird Clinic on 12th Avenue are both offering free masks to the entire community- although they're concentrating on people without homes, or access to air conditioning.

"Anyone who spends a lot of time outside on the street- they don't have the luxury of going someplace, getting out of the air," First Christian Church Pastor Dan Bryant said. "Being able to have a mask in these kind of conditions is really important for those folks."

Bryant says the City of Eugene gave him the masks, asking if he would take them off their hands- as they expired relatively soon. Bryant decided to hand them out to help both homed and unhomed people manage the air quality.

Community members can walk into either organization's office and pick up a mask. Bryant says they started handing out the masks a few days ago, but now the word is getting out- and more people are stopping by.

"We all need to breath, right? And so, being able to breath easy, and to have a little bit of insurance that you're not inhaling something that's going to be damaging to your health, is very comforting," Bryant said.

First Christian Church is open from 9 a.m to 4 p.m Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m to Noon on Friday. White Bird Clinic is open from 8 a.m to 10 p.m.

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