HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – As the temperature drops, there are people who don’t have the luxury of going into a warm home to escape the cold weather. WHNT NEWS 19 is paying it forward to an organization that’s working to make sure they are safe on the street.
Life on the street can be cold, figuratively and literally.
“When you live on the street, things get muddy and ruined and they get gone,” explains Lynn Bullard, who serves as the president of the board of directors for the North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless. “Things disappear when you live in a tent.”
A shelter isn’t for everyone.
“For some people, the street is where they feel the most comfortable,” says Bullard.
Since that’s where many homeless people will stay during these cold winter months, help is coming to them. For more than 20 years, the North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless has held a blanket and cold weather gear drive.
“We like the thick, plush type blankets instead of the throws because we want it to be able to be utilized for warmth,” describes NACH Executive Director Lineise Arnold.
Another simple warming solution that’s needed is socks.
“We definitely need new socks for our clients so their feet will be warm,” says Arnold. “It means that they will feel warm all over.”
Arnold says other warm clothing items like coats, gloves, hats and thermal underwear are important too. The collection is continuous through the winter months, because those in need are generous.
“There is a constant turnover in blankets and items being donated,” says Arnold. “Our population likes to share with each other. Therefore, if one has an extra blanket and their buddy doesn’t, they will give that blanket to them.”
WHNT NEWS 19 was in a sharing mood too, paying it forward with $319. The money can help in the form of emergency hotel vouchers for families when it gets below 32 degrees.
“Generally, for a week we pay about $280 for a family to be able to come out of the cold,” explains Arnold.
That one week of warmth translates into an immeasurable amount of gratitude. If you want to donate to the drive, items can be dropped of at locations in Huntsville, Madison and Decatur. See the complete list of donation drop-off locations.