Communities rally together to help the homeless this winter

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:42 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s one of the most dangerous times of year for those without a warm place to call home.

The following warming shelters are open:

  • Augusta Rescue Mission, 526 Walker St, Augusta, GA 30901. Space available for men.
  • The Salvation Army Center of Hope, 1384 Greene St, Augusta, GA 30901. Space available for men and women.
  • The Garden City Rescue Mission, 828 Fenwick St, Augusta, GA 30901. Space available for men.

Salvation Army

As the threat of ice and freezing temperatures come in, the Salvation Army is making sure our homeless population’s needs are met.

Even if you can’t donate items, you can donate your time. The goal is to collect more than 300 coats to give out on Feb. 11. They’re taking all cold-weather accessories. If you have anything in your closet to give, come drop it off.

“These temperatures are getting ridiculously cold. So anyway, they can help, we’re asking for help,” said Dr. Gregory Rhodes, director of social services, Salvation Army. “We had two elderly gentlemen come in yesterday, who literally had nothing.”

They’re collecting coats, hats, scarves any type of winter wear.

“All ages, all sizes,” he said.

People can donate at the Center of Hope, Kroc Center, or any Salvation Army store. Look for the donation bins.

Rhodes said: “The need will probably never be met, we’re always in need.”

United Way

The United Way is collecting hygiene products.

“Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrushes, hair products, deodorant, all those things can really add up,” said Brittney Burnett, director, United Way of the CSRA.

Hygiene kit distribution for families at risk of homelessness will start next week through schools and charity organizations.

Drop off donations at the United Way office on 1765 Broad St, Augusta, GA 30904. From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays. They’re taking donations p until Jan. 28. The goal is to make 2,000 hygiene kits.

“Those are some items that everyone needs, just like you need gas in your car. These families are having to pick which one they are able to afford,” said Burnett.

Housing and Community Development

If you can’t donate items, Housing and Community Development wants you to donate your time.

They’re looking for volunteers to assist with the point-in-time homeless count. Teams will hit the streets early mornings and late afternoons to count the number of homeless people in the city.

The last count, done in January of 2020, showed 480 people living on the streets. This year the number is expected to be much greater.

The in-person count will be conducted Jan. 24-29, and community members are invited to volunteer by either assisting with the survey, making care packages or donating items. Call 706-821-1797 for more information.

“To come here and see people in need, has been an eye-opener. I’ve seen the generosity of this community, and we are so grateful,” said Rhodes.

More Information

The City’s Bridge the Gap- Community Resource Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11, at The Salvation Army Center of Hope, located at 1384 Greene St. Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of community services, including vaccinations, grooming and hygiene stations, and other valued resources.

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