Helping The Homeless Population One Week At A Time - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Helping The Homeless Population One Week At A Time

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WMDT 47 NEWS – While the season of giving is over for many, it's the time of the year when those in need may need the help the most.

However, one week at a time, a group of volunteers with Serving Others Under the Lord (SOUL) Ministries in Dagsboro is doing everything they can to make sure the homeless population are not forgotten about.

"It's something people just don't want to pay attention to so they think it doesn't exist," says Cherith Snyder, a volunteer with SOUL ministries. "This is an extreme need."

The group's Monday night starts off in Rehoboth giving out food clothing and toiletries, then they travel down to Ocean City to do the same. On Thursday, they travel from Seaford through Salisbury to help the homeless population. On the days between, they work to get donations, which they say is much more difficult than it was a few weeks ago.

"Everybody's in the spirit of giving during Christmas time but people don't realize it gets cold after Christmas," says Snyder. "Two weeks before the holiday everybody's done, nobody even wants to help out anymore."

"It's tough this time of year," says Rob Colone, founder of SOUL Ministries, and owner of Goodfellas Pizza and Subs in Dagsboro.

After a few years of struggling with alcohol and substance addictions, Colone says he first recognized the need at a support group meeting in Rehoboth, where he saw the homeless taking some of the complimentary food. Colone remembered he had soup in the car and offered it to them. He came back the next day with more, and has continued to help since.

"They will be here all summer and then come October they have nowhere to go, and they don't have vehicles or anything, so Ocean City's homeless population gets bigger and bigger every year," says Colone. "It's not going to get any smaller but if we can provide support or at least resources for them it might not be as bad."

The group started the weekly help in the first week of December, and since then, things have only gone up.

"We've built bonds with these guys and they trust us now," says Snyder. "Some out there are too proud to ask for help, or who are out camping in the woods and just refuse to leave. That's who were trying to help, now we can say well who else, where else? We try to give them hope and lift them up and let them know they're loved and worth something."

The group is working hard to try to make the help a community effort, and they plan to continue the work year-round. They say their next goal is to open a center for shelter and offer services to help get the homeless population back on their feet.

They are collecting new and gently used clothing items, toiletries, and non-perishable food. For more information and drop-off locations, call Rob Colone at 302-858-9940 or visit the SOUL Ministries' Facebook page.

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