HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Downtown Rescue Mission in Huntsville says it’s seen an uptick in the number of people that are coming through their doors. Officials say just last year, they saw 2,500 people who needed help.

Downtown Rescue Mission President Keith Overholt says there could be a lot of factors when it comes to the high numbers of those needing assistance. He says the economy, people coming out of the pandemic slump, and even the city’s growth all play a part.

“People are like, ‘well, I’m going to go to Huntsville, there’s jobs there’ and then they get here and there’s not a job for them,” Overholt said.

Overholt says sometimes those people who don’t get jobs, end up at the mission. But he says it’s not just those in Huntsville who are in need of assistance.

“Limestone County, Morgan County, some of the outlining counties there’s an uptick there, some of that is because they don’t have facilities to take care of the homeless like we would in Huntsville,” Overholt continued.

Right now, the mission is discussing the possibility of having satellite ministries in those areas to reach more people throughout North Alabama.

“Downtown Rescue Mission is in Madison County, but we help homeless all throughout North Alabama so we’re looking at putting some smaller ministries that will probably be run by the mission,” said Overholt.

Back in Huntsville, Overholt says the mission is currently in talks with the city council to bring in more associations. They’re also working with the City of Huntsville to come up with ways to combat homelessness.

“I’ve been at three different rescue missions in my career and I think the City of Huntsville is on top of this pretty much like no other city because I think they’ve caught it ahead of time,” Overholt concluded.

Overholt says there will always be a need for the rescue mission.

He says the more people they help become successful, the more people come to their doors the next day. He’s hopeful that with the help of the city council and the mayor, their future plans will dramatically reduce the number of those on the streets.