FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) — 7 Hills Homeless Center is calling out to its supporters to participate in a challenge to help it meet its goal of becoming completely self-sustainable.
Hundreds of people walk through 7-Hills’ doors every month, Jose Meza is one of them. “Right now, I’ve been sleeping in my car or at a shelter when there is room. I came to Arkansas for work and the cost of living but had a substance abuse problem. That’s the reason I’m homeless and I’m trying to get back on my feet.”
The center’s Chief Executive Officer, Jessica Andrews said 7 Hills not only provides hot showers and clothing for people, it also offers several resources including crisis counseling and assistance with identity documents. ”Anything you can do in your home you can do at our day center.”
“Right now they are helping me get some blood work done so I can get into this rehabilitation program,” Meza said.
Meza will have to wait longer than expected. “We have limited funds for those every month and sometimes we will hit that number in the middle of the month and the rest of the month we have to say we can’t help with that right now, wait for the first of next month,” Andrews said.
7 Hills’ annual operating budget is $1.4 million dollars. The center gets about $113,000 dollars from the city. The rest comes from federal grants, churches and individual donations but Andrews said it’s not enough to meet the need.
The organization is now ramping up its sustaining donor campaign with a new initiative called the 7 for 7 challenge. ”You donate at least 10 dollars a month to 7 hills and get 7 other people to commit to doing the same. What’s really important for us is to be able to meet someone’s needs right when they walk through the door.
An initiative Rob Gutterridge said is worth his money. “These folks are actually being helped into a better standard of living than what they currently have.”
Meza said he is sober and ready to take back control of his life ”There is still hope for everybody and sometimes people just need a little bit of help.”
Keep an eye on social media – you may start to see interesting ways the center is promoting the campaign.