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Holidays and Homeless

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

Dozens waited in line for warm meal inside Tallahassee's homeless shelter Friday, many of whom spent Thanksgiving without family and in the cold.

Michael Crockett, a supervisor with Tallahassee's homeless shelter, says, "We don't really get into the holiday mode around here because there are always people who are going to need, whether it is clothing or a place to stay or something to eat."

A recent study of Tallahassee's homeless population shows about 156 families are without a home. In that number are close to 400 children, but some believe the numbers are decreasing.

Gerald Ham, who is homeless and lives at The Shelter, says, "It's not that many homeless in Tallahassee like it was 10-15 years ago. I feel local government is doing a lot to help the people in the area who are homeless."

David Keele, a local shelter volunteer, says, "It's very hard to understand that a city like Tallahassee would have this many people that need help."

Following Hurricane Katrina, The Shelter saw a spike in occupancy. Many supplies depleted, but somehow those who arrive are cared for.

"I call it trust I guess. I trust in the Lord that things will be provided, and they are," says shelter volunteer Claude Kenneson.

One homeless man says The Shelter receives much more support during the holiday season, but the hope is that more will give of what they have year around.

Crockett says The Shelter usually averages about 170 people a night, but in the last week the average occupancy was 190 people.


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