WellSpring Center seeks help during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

This article is courtesy of Reporter-Times

Written and Photographed By Lance Gideon | lgideon@reporter-times.com


Most people probably do not have Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week listed on their calendar. But to some people in the Martinsville area, the week is very important because they have either lived or are currently living in these conditions. WellSpring Center, which offers emergency and transitional housing for some of Martinsville’s most vulnerable families, is asking for help during this week so that they can offer their residents as much as possible.

During regular business hours from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Los Reyes, 10 N. Main St., Martinsville, will have a benefit for WellSpring. Diners can stop by the restaurant and order their regular menu items. When they pay for their meal, they can present a coupon to the cashier and WellSpring will receive 20 percent of the guest’s check.

On Wednesday, the Martinsville Key Club will head to the shelter to participate in some service projects, like bringing in toys that will not do well in the winter and other important tasks.

WellSpring Executive Director Bob Goodrum will live in his car for 24 hours on Nov. 17, and on Nov. 18, WellSpring staff will pass out fliers at the Martinsville Rural King with a list of things that can be purchased at the store to be donated to the center.

With the upcoming holiday season fast approaching, Goodrum is asking the community for help.

“We ask for money donations and for food,” Goodrum said.

The center always enjoys having food drives offered for them, but asks organizations to contact them before the food drive. By calling beforehand, WellSpring can offer advice on how to run a food drive and suggestions for food items they most desperately need.

The center also asks local business and places of worship to sponsor families from the center this holiday season.

According to Shelly Houseworth, director of housing for WellSpring, the center is home to nine emergency apartments, as well as 13 transitional housing units. Emergency housing is only intended to last 30 days, but they also grant extensions on a case by case basis. One example might be a family finding a permanent residence, but is unable to move in immediately.

“We do not want to put them on the streets if they have found permanent housing,” Houseworth said.

The shelter is home to a food pantry for the residence, and all the food is free to them. The center encourages families to first use their Food Stamps if they have them in order to purchase food for their families.

The shelter is always asking for milk, cheese, eggs and meat.

The center is also home to a computer lab for residents that can be used for homework, job searches and checking email while living at WellSpring.

On the transitional housing side of the center, there are several one, two and three bedroom apartments that are available to families. Residents can remain in transitional housing for up to two years and while the apartments are not income based, they are well below fair market value.

On Monday, the center hosted Tricoci University of Beauty Culture from Bloomington into the center to offer free haircuts for center residents.

The haircuts are intended to be a jump start for the centers recognition of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

Donations can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the center, 301 W. Harrison St., Martinsville.

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