KEEPING WARM: WellSpring helps people fight winter weather

This Article is courtesy of Reporter-Times

Dec 16, 2017

MORGAN COUNTY

As the temperatures outside begin to fall, many area residents start bundling up with coats, hats, scarves and gloves.

But not everyone has the luxury of warm clothes.

In recent weeks, however, scarves have been popping up around Martinsville and Mooresville with a card that says, “‘I AM NOT LOST.’ If you are cold and need me, please take me.”

According to WellSpring Executive Director Bob Goodrum, the movement is a national effort that is happening in a number of major cities throughout the country.

“We are just kind of bringing it to (Morgan County),” Goodrum said.

Goodrum believes a lot of people in the community do not know of the resources available to them from the various shelters and organizations in the county.

Many larger communities have a street outreach program that can let homeless know of the services available to them, but that outreach program does not exist in Martinsville or Morgan County.

In larger communities, people will go out to parks and other areas where the homeless congregate to pass out information.

Attached to the scarves is contact information on those shelters and organizations throughout the community that assist those less fortunate, including Churches in Mission, Manna Mission, Desert Rose Foundation, Magdalene House and WellSpring.

The cards also give information for Connect2Help 211.

Goodrum said a woman recently brought a scarf into WellSpring that she found and told workers there she did not have a coat or gloves either.

“We were able to give her a coat and hat and gloves to go with the scarf,” Goodrum said.

According to Goodrum, local resident Jen Staggs is also helping place the scarves in the Mooresville area.

On Friday, one scarf was located near the intersection of Washington and Sycamore streets in downtown Martinsville and another was seen at the intersection of Morgan Street and the Ind. 39 bypass.

“We tried to go where we know some homeless folks have been known to kind of gather,” Goodrum said.

The scarves have been wrapped around trees, telephone poles and other utility poles that can be used.

Goodrum said there is a list of where the scarves have been placed so the items can be regularly checked and replaced if needed.

“We are going to go back about once a week and check to see if a scarf is still there,” he said.

If a scarf stays in one location for a few weeks it might get moved to a more trafficked area.

As of Tuesday, 25 scarves had been placed throughout the city of Martinsville, and there were plans to place about 15 to 20 more on Friday, depending on donations.

“If someone has those items that they would want to donate, we would take them,” Goodrum said.

There are also plans to continue the event annually, and Goodrum encouraged area residents to also consider donating items throughout the year for next year’s efforts.

WellSpring provides shelter and supportive services to homeless families in Morgan County and is located at 301 W. Harrison St., Martinsville.

Desert Rose Foundation provides shelter and other services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Magdalene House assists single women at 132 N. Marion St., Martinsville, while Manna Mission help single men and gives meals to those in need at 65 W. Morgan St., Martinsville.

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