INDIANAPOLIS — As the cold weather arrives in our area, it has a major impact on Indy's homeless population.
The organization Refuge Place is asking the community to donate tents, undergarments, coats, gloves, hats, hand warmers, socks and more to pass out next week.
"It is very important to donate tents, blankets," said Arthur Davenport.
Arthur Davenport has been on the streets for three years.
"It's a dog eat dog world type thing, you have to be very very careful," said Davenport.
Refuge Place has made a significant difference in his life.
Hot food is given out 7 days a week at Lugar Plaza along with bus passes, hygiene products and more.
"I come down here and have something hot to eat. I am diabetic, so I need those type of things," said Davenport.
For Stacey White, this help has been a blessing. She's been without a home for three months.
"They saved my life," said White.
The organization relies on donations and is asking the community to donate tents, thermals and sleeping bags as the winter chill arrives to help prevent frostbite and death.
"Negative 20 degree sleeping bags, having tarps and tents, having hand warmers will help make sure our friends can live to see another spring," said volunteer Elder Coleman.
Coleman says they'll also pass items out to dozens of people living in tent communities, under bridges and in parking garages.
"IUPUI did a study before the pandemic and estimated there were a little over 14,000 people who were in homeless situations," he said.
He says homelessness is a growing problem in our community and is expected to rise due to the pandemic.
"So, if that be the case central Indiana could literally expect to have a little bit over 21,000 of people in homeless situation over the next few months unless we do something different," he said.
Davenport says the journey isn't easy and encourages others to remember the old saying don't judge a book by its cover.
"It's important for others to know don't look down on someone however look up and help them out," he said.
The giveaway will be held Saturday, November 13 at 3 p.m. at Lugar Plaza. For more information or to find out how to volunteer, click here.