HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - In 2008, someone saw a need in our community and started the Tent City Project to help the homeless men and women in the greater Huntsville area.
"They’re hidden. They’re kind of out of sight, out of mind, people don’t really think about them, they don’t see them," said Amy Mansell, founder of the Tent City Project.
Now, ten years later that need is still here and so is Tent City.
"Everybody knows somebody who's been affected by a downturn economy or losing a job or getting behind on bills and so it’s something that could just as easily be me," said Ciera Elledge, Tent City Project's vice president.
Tent City 2018 is collecting donations to give to the nearly 500 homeless friends in the greater Huntsville and Madison County community to help get them through the winter months, like food but most importantly warm clothes and camping supplies .
"We have around a 500 item list, so everything that we’re getting in donations, we’re hoping to have 500 of each of them so that way if somebody needs it, we never have to tell them no," Elledge said.
Mansell says this is so important because our homeless friends are exactly that and they're no less of a person than anyone else and they need our help.
"They are literally just like you and I a lot of them are. A lot of them have fallen on hard times, maybe missed a couple of mortgage payments, the next thing you know they’ve been foreclosed. They didn’t expect to find themselves in this situation," Mansell said.
Tent City volunteers say they didn’t know the extent of our homeless population until they got involved, and now that they have they say this project has been the most rewarding that they’ve been a part of.
If you’d like to donate to the Tent City Project, you can take items to their drop off locations until Sunday, December 16.
GREATER HUNTSVILLE AREA:
1. Berney Office Solutions (Research Park) 335 Quality Circle Set. F HSV 35806
2. Functional Chiropractic (Southside) 11220 Memorial Parkway SW HSV 35803
3. 333 Designs (Under the covered awning) 2362 Whitesburg Drive HSV 35801
4. Side Tracks Music Hall (Downtown) 415 E.Church St NW #12-13 HSV 35801
5.Arlington Dentistry (Hwy 20 Area Madison) 119 Arlington Dr Madison 35758
6.Dean Dental (Hwy 20-Slaughter Area) 7736 Hwy 20 Suite #2 HSV 35806
1. Economy Carpet- 105 Avalon Ave. Muscle Shoals
2. Boxcar Cafe- 220 N. Nashville Ave. Sheffield
3. Sheffield VFW- 419 N Raleigh Ave Sheffield
Absolute Nutrition- 901-C Wimberly Dr SW 35603
Liberty National- 107 1st Ave SW 35055
If you'd like to volunteer and hand out the donations on Saturday, December 22 you can contact Mansell through the Tent City Project 2018 Facebook page.