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Keeping Hoosiers warm this winter, how you can help those facing homelessness

Horizon House winter preps.png
Posted at 10:33 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-15 11:17:28-05

INDIANAPOLIS — As temperatures continue to drop, we can't help but think about what's being done to keep those who do not have a place to stay warm.

Horizon House tells WRTV that the demand for homelessness assistance has increased since last year. They said everyone can play a part in keeping those individuals safe this winter.

"A touching heart, sharing heart and caring heart," Jessie Stubblefield Jr. said.

"It's not getting any easier out there on the street, and when it gets colder like this, then it just makes matters worse," said Teresa Wessel, Executive Director at Horizon House.

An alarming reality in the Circle City.

"Right now, our numbers are up over last year. Through October, we've seen just shy of 6,000 unique individuals. Last year we saw 6,000 over the course of the year. So, this year we think we'll be approaching nearly 7,000," Wessel said.

With this type of demand, resources for those facing homelessness are stretched thin to ensure those in need are served.

"Early October, we partnered with Amazon and one warm coat, and we got 300 brand new coats. They're gone. We just got another load of coats from a local company, and they're gone," Wessel said.

Wessel told WRTV that coordinators are working longer shifts as temperatures drop.

"They're going out every morning to the campsites that they know of to make sure that folks are safe. What they need, bringing as many supplies as we have," said Wessel.

Stubblefield Jr., an Indy resident awaiting his move-in date in two weeks, says he is doing what he can to stay warm for now.

"I can take my breath and open my coat up and breathe down there. It's more body heat. So, I got about one, two, three, four layers on now," Stubblefield Jr. said.

"These are folks that have fallen on hard times, and we need to help them," Wessel said. "We as a community need to help them. We at Horizon House need to help them. So, the more we can get donations in whether it's financial, whether it's clothing items. But we need to keep these individuals safe over this winter season."

Again, Wessel said they need coats, bigger coats that will allow people to layer. You can visit the Horizon House online to donate and help those in need this winter season.