COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Tonight there are homeless people in our community who will sleep out in the bitter cold.
That’s why even during the winter, outreach specialists from MaryHaven trek outside to find homeless people and offer them shelter.
“Most of us don’t want to be outside for a few minutes,” said outreach specialist Brooklynn Alexander. “You have people who are living in these conditions.”
After layering up and grabbing some blankets to give out, a three person team of outreach specialists go out in the cold, hoping to bring a little warmth to the homeless.
“Whatever they need, we’re here for them,” said Alexander. “Our primary goal is basically to save their life and to make sure that they understand that they don’t have to be outside and that we’re here to help them at MaryHaven.”
They go wherever there are homeless people in Franklin County. Tonight, they found a campsite where five people are living in below-freezing temperatures.
“Last two nights it’s been below zero and we use propane to heat and that doesn’t last long,” said Dartanyon Schultz, who’s been homeless for about a year and a half.
He said MaryHaven will help them with bus passes, a place to take a shower or do laundry. Most importantly, they help them find a place to call their own.
“They actually look out for the homeless when they come out and help the people,” said Schultz.
Helping people like Jarad Burney, who’s currently homeless but about to get his own place.
“Hopefully by the end of this month, I should be in an apartment,” he said.
It’s the whole reason Alexander said she loves her job.
“Don’t give up. Know that your situation isn’t forever and that there are people who do care,” she said.
If you are homeless and need a place to stay, no one is turned away during the winter months. You can call: 1-888-4SHELTR (1-888-474-3587)
MaryHaven said they are also in need of donations of hats and gloves.