WellSpring highlights homeless, hunger

This Article is courtesy of Reporter-Times

Nov 13, 2017

With the holiday season fast approaching, many area residents might be thinking of ways to give back to the community.

This week, WellSpring Center — 301 W. Harrison St. in Martinsville — will participate in National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week by holding several events throughout the area.

“We are joining with agencies all across the country who work with homeless and food banks and that kind of thing to raise both awareness and funds for the cause,” WellSpring Executive Director Bob Goodrum said.

This year, there will be three dine-to-donate opportunities offered by establishments in the area to help benefit the homeless shelter by bringing in a flyer available on the center’s Facebook page.

From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. today at Los Reyes, 10 N. Main St., 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Indy’s Family Restaurant, 2210 Burton Lane and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Knead the Dough Bakery, 1299 E. Morgan St., restaurant goers will be able to have 20 percent of their bill — pre-tax — be donated to WellSpring if they present the flyer while paying for their food.

Representatives from WellSpring will also spend five days in front of different businesses passing out information sheets with a list of items the center needs.

“Hopefully, they will add an item or two to their shopping and donate it on their way out,” Goodrum said.

The handouts will also list some of the things WellSpring offers for homeless families in Morgan County.

On Monday, they will be by the Martinsville Family Dollar at 211 E. Morgan St.; on Tuesday, the group will be at Martinsville Ace Hardware at 2064 Burton Lane; Wednesday, they will be at the Martinsville Rural King at 1800 S. Ohio St.; on Thursday, they will be at the Martinsville Dollar Tree at 389 Grand Valley Blvd., and Friday, representatives will be at the Martinsville Kroger at 1600 S. Ohio St.

“And then Wednesday evening at 7, we are going to do a Bombas sock giveaway to everybody who lives at WellSpring,” Goodrum said.

He said the Bombas company donates a pair of socks to a homeless shelter for every pair sold.

Goodrum also said the Morgan County 4-H Swine Club will also visit the center on Thursday.

The club held a collection of items and they will be purchasing items for the center to use in their Thanksgiving fruit baskets.

In past years, Goodrum has lived as a homeless person for 24 hours during the week.

In 2015, he lived on the roof of WellSpring and in 2016, he spent 24 hours living in his car.

This year, Goodrum will be “couch surfing,” meaning he will be staying on different people’s couches all week.

He said that the United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does not consider couch surfers as homeless but local schools do.

Goodrum said many of the families in WellSpring couch surf before becoming officially homeless.

“I am going to spend a night on a different person’s couch throughout the county,” Goodrum said.

WellSpring has served as the county’s only shelter for homeless families since 1988.

During the last fiscal year, the shelter served 99 adults and 95 children with shelter and other services for a total of 19,066 nights of shelter.

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