TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN) – A local Girl Scout has been spending her free time making sleeping mats for homeless people out of waterproof plastic yarn.
Samantha Houston, a high school student working on her Girl Scout Gold Award, said she had the idea to make the mats while volunteering with SOLVE (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism). She said people were sleeping on pieces of cardboard.
“We couldn’t go into the camp, but there was soggy cardboard, and ever since that I knew I wanted to help the homeless, because I knew that was so sad,” Houston said.
Houston finger crochets plarn – or plastic yarn made from repurposed shopping bags – into a sustainable and waterproof mat, which serves as a dry barrier for people sleeping on the ground.
“They can lay them down. They can sit on them. They can use them as a pillow,” Houston said.
She said her goal is to make 15 mats, and each mat takes about 20 hours to crochet. She taught two other troops how to make them and created a website with several YouTube videos explaining her process.
“I’ve had many teachers walk up and just like, what are you doing,” Houston said. “It’s just proof you’re helping the community or society in a way to better your community.”
According to her website, Houston made dog toys, blankets and beds to donate to a local shelter for her Girl Scout Silver Award in middle school.