Local Homeless Shelter Struggles to Fight the Cold

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - The single digit temperatures are overpowering an organization working to help people stuck out in the cold.
Going home to a warm house is simply not an option for the homeless population here in Fayetteville. And today, one of the few places they can go to get warm wasn't able to help.

"It's freezing out there. It's eight degrees and there are a lot of people we even heard that are living in dumpsters right now," Fayetteville resident Jennifer Flowers says.

The 7Hills Homeless Center gives Fayetteville's homeless a place to get out of the cold.

Brand Relations Director at the 7Hills Homeless Center Michael Drager says the shelter can be a great source of help, "It meets basic needs, food, clothing, showers, laundry, that kind of stuff. and so it's our main point of contact for the community of people that need some help."

Jennifer Flowers says 7Hills is a light at the end of the tunnel for many in poverty. "It's an incredible organization that is just really fighting homelessnes and poverty and they're fighting it with education and opportunities and just hope."

"On a day like today it's especially important to have a place like this for our clients to get out of the weather," Drager says. But the old building's heater was no match for Thursday's extreme cold.

"Everybody is going in and out  constantly," Drager says, "It's about 50 degrees inside the day center. Being homeless or living in poverty is stressful enough, these conditions just add to that." The center put out a call for help on social media, and Jennifer Flowers answered.

"We were just trying to find some to let us borrow, and we started praying The Lord would just lead us to a place. Went to Lowe's right on Sixth Street, and the sweetest manager named Angie said 'Sure, I'd love to help you.' And she donated two wonderful kerosene heaters," Flowers explains.

The center may be a warmer place, but Flowers says a much bigger problem still needs to be solved. "We have a huge community of people that don't have a place to  go. There's a huge need," Flowers continues, "I think for so long, when you're working or taking care of kids, and we all have our blinders and we might see somebody standing outside of Walmart and give them a couple dollars, you think 'Oh, I did such a great deed.' But  I just feel like there's so much more that we can do,"

Anything that is winter related is needed... Coats, gloves, scarves. Donations can be brought to the 7Hills Homeless Center at 1555 W. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Contact cynthia@7hillscenter.org with questions.

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