12 On Your Side: Shelter demands growth as temps drop

12 On Your Side
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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Cody Hall came to Garden City Rescue Mission three months ago.

"I was sleeping under the bridge on 15th Street," Hall said. "Once you slip into it, it's very hard to come out of, and without a helping hand from people, it's almost impossible," he said.

Hall was not surprised to hear about the fire on Clark Street Monday night. Investigators say a homeless father, mother and their child went into an abandoned home and started a fire. The fire burned the home down.

According to investigators, the family told them they tried to smoke out mosquitoes, so they used straw and grass to set a fire. Neighbors believe the family was really just trying to stay warm.

"It's sad with a city this size that we do have those families out there in that situation that desperate that they're having to go to an abandoned house," said Keith Pope, director of the Garden City Rescue Mission.

Pope says the recent chill has brought an increased number of people into the shelter. It also means the shelter itself is more in need.

"Our energy bills go up, our gas bills, and things like that. It takes a lot of money to run these facilities," Pope said.

"People don't realize they are one paycheck from being in the same situation, and it's real easy to slip into that," Hall said.

Hall doesn't have any money to donate to the shelter but does have time. He spends his time at Garden City helping others now.

Garden City Rescue Mission is always in need of donations. If you can't donate money, consider donating jackets and blankets. You can also volunteer. You can reach the Garden City Rescue Mission at (706) 724-6960. If you are in need of a place to stay, contact the United Way at 211.

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