Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 19, 2019
LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- An opportunity to help homeless families ahead of the first day of school is kicking off this weekend in Valdosta.
Project Rescue Outreach Ministries is hosting a Summer Explosion Family and Friends Block Party Saturday. The event will bring together the community to help those in need, at a time of year many families struggle to stock up on school supplies and other essentials.
The purpose of the community block party is two fold. It's an opportunity to give back to those in need, providing things like food, clothing and backpacks. It's also about raising awareness about a population many advocates say is often overlooked or ignored.
Project Rescue said there are 600 homeless children in Lowndes County alone, and to get that number, it takes the whole community.
Founder Alonzo Atkins serves men and women without a home every day, hoping to get them back on their feet. Atkins said even with the help of other local programs, like The Salvation Army and LAMP, without community support, families continue to struggle.
"We have families in this county who are facing a lot of poverty issues and employment issues. I'm seeing a lot of families who are being challenged in this area," Atkins said. "There is still a big need in this area. We only have so many agencies, and I mean, it's hard. We need the community to come together, and this is one of the reasons we're having this event tomorrow, to bring awareness of it."
On Friday, Daphne Brown joined Project Rescue for the first time, now inspired to keep fighting so no one in the community feels forgotten.
"Anybody that I can help in the community and inspire, I don't have to have a gift. It's all about giving, and if I can give to the community, that's what it's all about," Brown said.
Many of the local resources for the homeless rely on community support and donations to stay alive. Organizers said this community block party is a way to start participation.
The event will be held Saturday at Olympic Park from 11:00am -3:00pm. There will be a blood drive, food and giveaways.