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Needlecraft Ministry Repurposes Plastic Bags Into Mats For The Homeless

by Rudy Sanchez on 01/02/2019 | 2 Minute Read

For those living on the street, life is hard. Everyday conveniences we take for granted, like a comfortable place to lie down at night, is non-existent for the homeless. Sleeping typically happens on dirty, hard and cold concrete.

Charmetrea Cobbs and members of her Needlecraft Ministry at First Baptist Church North Tulsa have found a way to provide a bit of solace to the homeless while also reducing the amount of plastic bags that end up in the garbage by collecting and repurposing the bags, turning them into mats.

As reported by Tulsa World, Cobbs has been crocheting since she was ten but learned of the technique to turn plastic bags into woven mats from coworker Marissa Oswald at Blue Cross Blue Shield. After viewing the video on social media, they were inspired to make 3ft x 6ft mats and distribute them as part of their ministry.

The effort not only provides some comfort to those on the street but also emotional and spiritual support. Ministry member Deanna Harris says, “For somebody who is just living on the streets, it’s a big hug to say people care about you and we’re praying for you.”

Nationally, homelessness is on the rise for the second consecutive year, despite economic gains. In Tulsa, homelessness is up 7% from a decade ago. Despite low levels of unemployment, increasing rents has put pressure on the poor, and the current administration has done little to increase funding to combat homelessness.

In addition to making these plastic mats, the ministry also makes traditional blankets for church members and weighted blankets for those with autism.

If you want to learn how to crochet plastic mats, using plastic bags, there are various videos online, such as this one.