GraceWorks posted about homelessness on our Facebook page this past month, and we were thrilled by the number of kind responses from our followers! Many of you asked what homelessness looks like here in Williamson County and how you can help. Read below to learn more!
Last summer, a homeless man was outside GraceWorks waiting for the office to open.
George (not his real name) walked up to the receptionist’s window and said “All I need is a ride to Nashville. I’ve walked 90 miles and slept outside for the past two days, and I have blisters on my feet.”
GraceWorks gave him food and provided a ride to Nashville.
Homelessness comes in different forms, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as lacking a fixed, regular and adequate night-time residence.
And homelessness exists in Williamson County, the seventh wealthiest county in the nation. The generosity of donors enabled GraceWorks to serve 197 homeless people in Williamson County from July 2017 to June 2018.
Some, such as George, have no shelter whatsoever. Jerry and Beth sleep in woods near a fast food restaurant. Some live in vehicles, such as Michael, a Franklin man who has a job but not enough income to provide a place for himself, his mother and his brother. The three of them live in his car. Some stay temporarily with relatives or friends, such as Carol, a single mother of two girls, who shares a crowded apartment with her cousin and four other people. Some find an abandoned building, such as Joe, who lived in a shack until he saved enough money to rent a place, but still needed $120 to turn on the electricity.
Some are children. The Williamson County and Franklin Special school districts report 242 students are homeless in the current school year.
GraceWorks provides food, blankets, sleeping bags, a few nights’ stay in local hotels, and transportation to homeless programs or family members willing to help.
What can you do?
- Give to GraceWorks to help us pay for temporary shelter and transportation to shelter programs or transportation to their family members’ homes. You can designate your gift to “Homeless Needs”
- Share this Facebook post to spread the word.
- Start a Facebook fundraiser for GraceWorks and ask your friends to give.