Coalition works to end homelessness -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Coalition works to end homelessness

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –The South Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness is making a difference in the lives of people down on their luck.  Friday, they celebrated that success and stressed their hope for the future at a prayer breakfast where some people who used to be homeless gave their testimonies.

Hundreds of people are homeless across south Georgia and a group has been working for 15 years to address the problem. The South Georgia Coalition to End Homeless had their third annual prayer breakfast this morning.

"It's just a way to make people aware of what we're doing in the community," said Diane West.

Last year the coalition helped 150 people. Smith was one of them. He lost his job in 2008.

"I got laid off the day after Christmas. It was rough, it was real rough," said Smith.

He later heard about the prayer breakfast.

"Something told me to come to the prayer breakfast from the coalition for the homeless andthey pointed me in the right direction and I was able to get some kind of stability some kind of direction," said Smith.

People gathered at Crossing Jordan Baptist Church Friday for prayer and breakfast. Testimonies were given and pastors and community members addressed the issue of homelessness in South Georgia.

 "Our services include transportation vision medical child care if needed and try to help them find employment,"  said West.

 Smith is still looking for a job but is hopeful.

The word homelessness has many definitions. Those who are in an emergency or transitional type shelter, those living outside and in the streets, and those in jail or in the hospital that have no where else to go are considered homeless.

Keynote speaker Pastor Willie Roberson of New Beginnings Church Ministries in Lakeland said the coalition was founded to help others excel. He said there is hope for the future.

 According to a 2009 count in Lowndes County nearly 200 people are homeless.

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