Though there may not be easy answers for our community’s homeless population, Marietta Community Foundation is working to provide short-term relief as the temperatures begin to drop.
Thursday, January 30, Marietta Times reported the difficulties facing the local homeless population. The Foundation, on behalf of a donor who had read the article, began to coordinate efforts to try and find a short-term solution.
“After I saw the article I contacted one of our donors, who are very passionate about helping the homeless, and they were immediately interested,” said Heather Allender, President & CEO of the Foundation. “While there are many people in our county looking at long-term solutions, in the meantime, we have been exploring short-term and intermediate solutions, on our donor’s behalf.”
Though the Foundation continues to have conversations regarding this issue, they realize that these conversations aren’t going to give immediate relief to those who need it most. With weather reports of high precipitation and declining temperatures in the next several days, the homeless population is at risk.
To provide immediate respite for those in need, the Foundation, the Washington County Hardship & Disaster Relief Fund, and the Jerry & Jennylou Brock Fund for the Homeless, Hungry, and Needy have awarded $2,000 to the Salvation Army to cover the cost of a two-night hotel stay and meal cards.
“This effort put forth by Marietta Community Foundation is the reason we established our fund with them,” said Jerry Brock. “My wife and I are passionate about helping those who are less fortunate!”
“We realize this doesn’t solve all of the problems these people are facing,” said Allender, “we just want to give them a chance to warm up and get some food. There are a lot of moving parts, but the fact remains that there are people in our county who need help right now. As the sole community foundation in Washington County, we want to provide that support in whatever way we can.”
The Foundation continues to work, on behalf of their donor, with other organizations to find an intermediate solution. One idea being discussed is creating a “warming station” through the winter months. However, for this to be a viable option, there needs to be a host location for the warming station as well as an organization to take the administrative role.
Any organization willing to offer space or take on the administration for the warming station should contact the Foundation immediately. Community members are invited to make donations to the Brock Fund for the Homeless, Hungry, and Needy to assist in these efforts.
The Marietta Community Foundation meets National Standards for operational quality, donor service and accountability in the community foundation sector. Founded in 1974, the Marietta Community Foundation has grown over the years thanks to a number of generous gifts.
Marietta Community Foundation works to improve the lives of all Washington County’s citizens and local nonprofits. If you are inspired to help the local homeless population, please contact Heather Allender at 740-373-3286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.