HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - As many of us huddle under blankets by the fireplace during this cold snap, one local woman is pushing to make sure people remember warmth is a luxury for some.
Amy Mansell founded the Tent City Project, an organization designed to help the local homeless. She says the homeless population is growing, but not enough is being done by the community, so she and others are trying to draw attention to the issue.
"I just want people to remember there are people outside, animals outside, freezing to death. Literally to death," Mansell said. "They can do something. Whether it's $5, whether it's a blanket, five minutes of your time, you can do something. Everyone can do something."
Mansell said one thing notably missing from Huntsville in the winter is warming centers for the homeless population. She said Grateful Life Church off Oakwood Avenue is the only church that opens their doors, but there should be others.
"I don't understand it. Grateful Life is such a small church, and they do so much. If they can, others can too," she said.
Mansell said to open a warming center, churches must meet requirements and have the manpower to staff them. There needs to be bathroom facilities, security available, "and they would be responsible for injuries or possible sickness due to food poisioning, etc," she said.
But if a church as small as Grateful Life can do it, she believes it's time for others to step their game up.
"The homeless population isn't going anywhere. The city's only growing," Mansell said.
Mansell is asking folks reading this to call their local churches and try to get the ball rolling.
If you make any headway or feel you could help with Mansell's effort to open more warming centers, connect with reporter Leah Jordan at www.facebook.com/leahjordanwaff48. She will put the two of you in touch.
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