“Hydrating the Homeless” draws attention to northwest Alabama problem

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s a number which surprised even us.  The population of homeless people in the Shoals is ever increasing from unforeseen circumstances that can crumble a life.

But a group in the Shoals is getting the word out:  There is help.

Stacks of bottled water line the fountain sidewalk of Wilson Park on Tuesday, ready to go to those in need.

“Hydrating the Homeless” is an effort to bring attention to the more than 300 people in just northwest Alabama who have no place to go.

Organizers of the event say one of the most disturbing numbers is the amount of children who are homeless and go unseen.

“Because they’re very good at finding places to hide, they stay in abandoned buildings. But we certainly do have a homeless population here and it’s a lot larger than a lot of people think,” said Beth Haddock with the United Way of Northwest Alabama.  She also sits on the Homeless Care Council.

With only one shelter for the homeless in the Shoals, she says they are making an effort to get the word out there are more resources for them available.

“They need a hand up right now and eventually if you work with them you can kind of figure out what’s going on, what can we help you with? And that’s where 211 is a great resource,” said Haddock.

Haddock says by calling 211, the people in need can be directed to resources to start getting back on their feet.

If you would be interested in donating or volunteering with the effort to help the homeless population in northwest Alabama you can contact the United Way of Northwest Alabama for more information.

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