HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s officially the season of giving and this year city leaders are asking you to tailor your donations to the homeless.
On Monday, we brought you the latest update from Huntsville leaders pleading with citizens to change the way they give to the homeless community.
They’re encouraging groups organizing fundraisers to use the CharityTracker website. If the website isn’t for you, call ahead to charities designated to helping those in need and ask them first what they could use. This will help curb drop-offs going to homeless campsites themselves from going to waste.
First Stop is just one of many organizations in town who needs your donations as they help the growing homeless community. The homeless population has been growing in conjunction with the city’s.
A First Stop leader said their numbers are unprecedented, and they need help.
“This time of the month last year, we’re seeing 50-60 people a day, we’re now seeing 95. We set a new record just last week, we saw 122 people in 1 day. We’re not sure if it’s COVID, if its people moving to Huntsville,” First Stop Executive Director Tim Davis said.
Davis went on to say this year has been unpredictable. All they know is they’re in need of donations to help as they offer showers, laundry and two hot meals a day to their clients.
First Stop needs toiletries because they offer hot showers, blankets to distribute for the winter, disposable ponchos for the rain and Styrofoam to-go plates because they’ve had to shut down their indoor cafeteria for the winter.
They’re not the only nonprofit who is asking for specific donations. The Salvation Army also needs toiletries for their showers and to pass out, nonperishable food items and monetary donations to replace their old mattress that officials say are worn down.
Downtown Rescue Mission is asking for hoodies and sweatpants for men, women and children as we head into the colder months, monetary donations and some well-meaning prayers, they say work too.