FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development reported the number of people declared homeless increased in Arkansas in 2018. A local family spent Christmas morning at 7hills Homeless Center in Fayetteville to help address the local problem.
Paul Green spent weeks organizing a free Christmas lunch at the center. This is the third time he’s helped host the meal and he said the need for it grows every year. But he couldn’t do it without help.
“This year, most of our volunteers are actually repeat volunteers from last year,” Green said. “So I kind of just let them do their thing and I get to just walk around and visit with the clients.”
Green, who is a regular volunteer at 7hills said he and his wife, Tina Moore, started this tradition as a way to help workers at the center.
“The staff gets their day off, they get to be with their families,” Moore said. “For one day they have a day where they hopefully don’t think about their job.”
The event didn’t only involve food. Barbers from a local shop donated their talents to give clients free haircuts.
“Me being less fortunate at times in my past allows me to be comfortable with this,” said barber Leodis Harris. “Hopefully these cuts help them step into something new.”
Regulars who come to 7hills for the holidays said they’re grateful for all the volunteers who spent their Christmas morning lending a hand to others.
“It shows people that there are still people out there that care about others,” said Brian Blair, who has been coming to the center for years. “They’re cared for, they’re loved and thought about.”
Tina Moore said they were able to provide over 100 meals this year and hope to serve even more next Christmas.