Shelter for homeless during bitter cold - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Shelter for homeless during bitter cold

Johnny Carter Johnny Carter
Seeking shelter from friged temps Seeking shelter from friged temps
Johnny Carter in downtown Albany Johnny Carter in downtown Albany
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Winter is definitely here. After brutal wind chills Friday we're expecting even colder weather early next week. That extreme cold is dangerous for the homeless.

Although many organizations are doing their best to help, one struggling Albany man says the situation for many people may only get worse.

Johnny Carter is a man on a mission. To keep a roof over his head and food on the table for his family. Carter says"Without the work being here the homeless situation is going to pick up even more."

In the winter finding shelter becomes more critical for survival. Carter says"The Salvation Army and Albany Rescue Mission they can only do so much when these places get crowded what's gonna happen, what's gonna happen to the ones that can't come in?"

The office manager at The Albany Rescue Mission says he has seen the need grow over the last year and it can double or triple when the temperature drops. Christopher Liberto says "We can accommodate 45 men I believe we do have some available spots. We accommodate also about 20 women and children at our women's and children's ministry. And on days like this expect to get below 30 in the evening our chapel will be open, so if somebody wants to get off the streets they can come here."

Johnny Carter comes downtown looking for work and says many who join him everyday are homeless. He says "You have some pretty decent guys down here guys like myself. We're not looking for a handout we rather work for a livin. If I feel like I can go somewhere and work make an honest living then I'll feel better about myself."

Carter has heard the stereotypes that people who are homeless should just get a job, but he says that can be difficult even if you have a college degree. He says "It can happen to anybody it's not a color thing it's not a racial thing its USA government" He says he wishes he had the power to bring businesses back to Albany. He worries it's only going to get worse. "People are wondering why crime is picking up the way it is. This is what it has come to it's a dire dire situation."

As the temperature drops this weekend you can help by donating blankets, winter clothes and toiletries to the Albany Rescue Mission at 604 North Monroe.

Johnny Carter has done many things from landscaping to painting and is willing to work. He can be reached at 229-214-1058.

Message from the Albany Dougherty Homeless Coalition:

The Albany-Dougherty Homeless Coalition, whose purpose is to serve as an advisory committee to the City Commission on issues associated with homelessness, conducted a homeless count in January 2013 where approximately 3,000 persons were surveyed. This data was forwarded to the Regional Development Commission (RDC).

It is undetermined at this time as to how many of those persons surveyed may fit the criteria for homelessness as the final count on the number of homeless persons in Albany-Dougherty County has yet to be finalized by the RDC who was the lead agency on the regional homeless count of January 2013. Our office was advised by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (during the latter part of 2013) that Albany-Dougherty County had 106 persons determined to be unsheltered and literally homeless.

The year prior, approximately 180 persons were determined to be unsheltered and literally homeless.

Available assistance (shelter, clothing, meals, and other services) could be sought through the following agencies: The Salvation Army (Men, women, and children accompanied by an adult) 435-1428 Albany Rescue Mission (Men, women, and children accompanied by an adult) 435-7615 Faith Community Outreach (Women and Children) 436-0807 Open Arms (Youth Up to 21) 431-1121 Liberty House (Domestic Violence Victims) 439-7065 Dougherty County Neighborhood Service Center (Hotel Vouchers) 883-1365 Lutheran Services (Hotel Vouchers for person with HIV) 4327664 A Place For Hope (Day Shelter) 435-1428

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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