HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - On a cold night, most people are able to crank up the heat in their home but that's not the case for hundreds of homeless individuals in Huntsville.
"We are sitting at home, and we have warm blankets, and we are watching Netflix, and we are drinking hot chocolate, and we have a warm meal, and these people aren't that different from us. A lot of them had just one bad thing happen in their life that they just weren't able to recover from." said The Tent City Project founder, Ciera Elledge.
Elledge founded The Tent City Project to help Huntsville's homeless friends survive the winter. They go directly to the camps to break down barriers to getting aid, like money and transportation.
"If they truly have no money, they are still going to get everything they need through us. We are physically taking it to places because transportation is an issue. Most of our homeless friends don't have cars, they don't have an ability," said Elledge.
Wednesday, the Tent City Project organized an emergency drop off to respond to this week's colder than average weather.
"We had a pretty big public outcry after we lost one of our homeless veterans on Veteran's Day night and people were just wanting to know how they could help" explained Elledge.
Volunteers made their way to the old Westlawn Middle School where volunteers took in donations, sorted out items, and dedicated their time to help a group of people who often can't help themselves.
"We're just a bunch of people in the community who care," said Elledge.
If you missed the drop off opportunity, don't worry there are several more days coming up when you can help make a tangible difference in the lives of others.
Upcoming drop off dates:
- November 21 - 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
- December 1 - 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
They are asking for donations of camping gear, hygiene products, food, winter clothes, medical supplies, and pet supplies.
“Volunteers are going to unload your car for you, you don’t even have to get out if you don’t want to. We will bring everything in and do our best to sort it out into different categories,” said Elledge.
A special delivery day will be held on December 21, and they need volunteers to help take all items out to different homeless camps in Huntsville.
“We don't have sign-ups, we encourage everyone to just show up and help!” said Elledge.
If you're interested in making a donation and are unable to attend a drop off day, Elledge says the best way to contact the Tent City Project is through their Facebook page.