MONTGOMERY, AL - There are more than 600 homeless men, women, and children in shelters and on the streets in Montgomery on any given night according to the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless. The organization, keeping the cold winter evenings in focus, is planning its annual Blanket Drive to help meet the needs of the capital city's homeless population.
"This project is an annual event that provides for the basic needs of the homeless in our area," said Molly Stone, Executive Director of the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless. "Whether they are staying in shelters or on the streets, our homeless individuals and families need a way to battle the cold of winter.
Now, the public can help. During January, Montgomerians will see three PODS (portable storage units) located around the city to serve as collection points for new and gently used blankets, coats, hats, and other winter wear.
LOCATIONS: Cloverdale Playhouse at 960 Cloverdale Road; The Courtyard shopping complex at 2101 Eastern Boulevard; and the Festival Plaza shopping center at the intersection of Taylor and Vaughn Roads.
The PODS will be open on three Saturdays in January (January 8, 15, & 22) from 10 AM to 2 PM to accept donations from the public. Various local businesses and organizations have also volunteered to place boxes out for collection in public places throughout the River Region.
"Many opportunities like this are offered during November and December, and we wanted to make sure that the homeless are taken care of even after the rush of the holiday season," Stone said.
Blankets and clothing will be distributed through MACH's member agencies, including local homeless shelters and service providers. MACH volunteers will also distribute the blankets during the annual Homeless Enumeration.
On the last Tuesday night in January, volunteer teams will visit places the homeless are known to frequent, such as shelters, underpasses, tent cities, and abandoned homes, to count and survey the homeless. While conducting the count, volunteers will hand out food, hygiene kits, and blankets and clothing collected during the drive.
The Blanket Drive is sponsored by the Junior League of Montgomery, with special thanks to PODS, Cloverdale Playhouse, The Courtyard–Commercial Properties, and Festival Plaza.
For more information or to volunteer or make a donation for the event, contact the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless at (334) 261-6182.
About the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless
The mission of the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (MACH) is to advocate on behalf of homeless persons and providers of homeless services; to increase public awareness of homelessness; and to develop strategies that effectively and efficiently address the needs of homeless persons in our community. Founded in 2001, MACH is the HUD-designated Continuum of Care for a five-county area and is responsible for examining homeless issues, devising methods to alleviate homelessness, providing services to the homeless and to those at risk of becoming homeless, and conducting a yearly survey of homeless individuals within its geographic boundaries. MACH is the leader for the Montgomery community in efforts to plan, coordinate, and develop resources with the goal of ending homelessness.