Homelessness and poverty services ramp up for holiday season

The Salvation Army is one of many organizations that expands their programs for the holidays.
The Salvation Army is one of many organizations that expands their programs for the holidays.(WFIE)
Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 12:15 AM EST
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HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - The Henderson Salvation Army received a new canteen truck, which non-profit leaders said is going to be used to help deliver hot meals to people in need.

“It is ready to go,” Captain Benny Carringer said. “It’ll begin to be used tomorrow for our Thanksgiving meal service.”

Organizations like the Salvation Army tend to hit their busy season toward the end of November as the holidays approach.

Joanna Beck with Ozanam Family Shelter in Evansville said they are also gearing up some extra services.

“We have lots of church groups and other charitable organizations in the area that bring toys for the kids,” she said. “We have a big Christmas dinner for them.”

Beck said holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas aren’t the only reason they ramp up their activities.

The cold weather poses a major challenge for people in poverty, which she said increases their level of need.

However, Beck said people volunteering and making donations certainly do feel more of a push during holidays about family and compassion.

“You just want them to be able to have the same traditions with their family that they would normally have with their home,” she said.

Carringer said the overwhelming fact is still that homelessness and poverty don’t only affect people when the red kettles are out.

“You really never are prepared for those kinds of circumstances that life throws at you,” he said. “One thing that we do know for sure is that the Salvation Army, and other agencies as well - we’re willing to help 365 days a year.”

So while the holidays will always bring a big push, he said volunteers and donations are still important long after the last carol is sung.

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