Organization that Helps the Homeless Sees Overwhelming Support from Community 1/15/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
January 15, 2013
Odessa - In a report you first saw on CBS 7, a homeless man froze to death two weeks ago. Now volunteers with a local organization are hitting the streets during the dark, cold hours of the night to provide support for those who don't have a place to call home.
In just three days, Jesus House has received five pallets of blankets, along with coats and sleeping bags enough to fill a truck to its brim.
Tonight we saw first hand where your donations have gone.
We spoke with volunteers of Jesus House and they say this is a good start for our community to come together and help those in need.
The soup is packed, hot chocolate ready and box truck filled with coats and blankets; all things to be passed out to those who spend their nights on the streets.
"There's been talk of people who've froze to death on the streets of Odessa and what we're trying to do is to stop it," Donny Kyker, Director of Jesus House said.
Kyker says they've never seen a response from the community quite like this before.
"It's been tremendous. The community has totally supported what we've been doing," he said.
He says they've seen an outpouring of generosity from our community in donations and even new volunteers.
"It just breaks my heart to see how many people don't really catch the magnitude of the situation. It's dire. They need help and the only way they will is through us," new volunteer Tasha Wright said.
We joined in on the caravan and saw nothing but appreciation from these people who don't have a place to call home.
One of those people used to be Charles Rennicks
"Jesus House means everything to me. I was on the streets for a year. All I had was a blanket," Rennicks said.
Rennicks remembers what it's like to try and stay warm on cold nights like tonight.
"Night time is the scariest. You don't know who will creep up on you or who will find you," he said.
With the help of Jesus House, Rennicks is now off the streets. And with the support of the community, they aim to assist those who need it the most.
The group serves around twenty people a night. They'll be out again tomorrow night. They say anyone can join in.
Jesus House is still in need of donations. They need thermals for both men and women, coats, socks and sleeping bags.
You can drop your donations off at Jesus House, located at: 1335 E. 6th St. in Odessa. For more information you can contact them at: 432-272-3362 or 432-559-9165.