HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Patrons came to the Breaking Free Rescue Mission Thrift Shop for the last time Wednesday, searching for last-minute finds before it officially closed to the public at 6 PM.
Staff members said that anything left behind in the store would be donated to other local charities the following day. They said some charities were ready to come pick up items.
The rest of the Breaking Free Rescue Mission will close after Thanksgiving. Staff members said the closure would be in effect the day after the very last annual Thanksgiving meal is served there. Mission leaders said they have been working to place their clients into other housing or jobs, whatever they need, but they know some will still be left without a place to go.
Meanwhile, the community has been mobilizing to help. The mission and service community estimates they will need to support around 20 people, either with shelter or with resources, or both. So a group of multiple organizations came together, "to get everybody to the table possible, to talk about an immediate plan," explained Cathy Miller, Community Impact Director of the United Way of Madison County.
She said there were representatives from the city, other missions, even the Department of Mental Health, and the group took a look at what each of them could offer to assist.
The collaborative effort is an example of what this community is capable of when they work together, explained Lineise Arnold. She's the executive director of the North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless. "It's what the NACH is all about," she said. "Together, if we pool our resources, we can make effective changes."
She told WHNT News 19 the group found a place for each of the displaced clients to go, if they want to. She mentioned this is mainly a temporary solution in the meantime. But she's among those thankful there is a team in place to assist with the need.