Fox8’s Carter Coyle went with me to the Freeman Mill tent city today to talk about the cold weather, the coming winter and how StreetWatch is preparing. She talked to several of my friends who live there and Sean spoke to her on camera. Video below:
From the accompanying article:
Homeless awareness advocates in Greensboro are bracing for a rough winter.
“There’s people living in the woods all over the entire city,” explained Michele Forrest with StreetWatch, a local volunteer organization that collects and distributes supplies for homeless people.
Forrest says just because you can’t always see the homeless population in Greensboro does not mean it isn’t there.
“We know of dozens and dozens of camps, plus there’s two tent cities. But those are just probably a fraction,” said Forest, a fraction of the more than 1,000 homeless people in Guilford County on any given night.
Right now, StreetWatch is dangerously low on supplies.
Forrest says their shelves are usually stocked with food, tents, toiletries and blankets. Right now many of her shelves are empty.
“Having it cold this early in the season does worry me. We’ve had some rule changes in the winter shelters and we just have more people overall. We are expecting to see more people outside this winter,” she added.
The goal of StreetWatch is not only to distribute supplies like tents, tarps and food to homeless people but also build relationships with them.
“Homeless people are just like people who have homes. They want friendship, they want to talk to someone… Sometimes we sit for hours and talk just because someone is having a rough day,” said Forrest.
Forrest and her StreetWatch volunteers also bring people to appointments, court dates and even hospital visits if necessary.
One of Forrest’s friends is Sean Sarver, who lives in one of Greensboro’s tent cities.
“Survival. It’s not living anymore, it’s survival at this point,” said Sarver when asked about the upcoming cold weather.
Want to help? You can drop off donations for StreetWatch in the collection box in the lobby of the Greensboro Police Department at 2602 South Elm-Eugene Street. Get more information about StreetWatch, and a list of the items that we need, at this site >> http://swgso.com/