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Nonprofits work together to help homeless

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POSTED: July 27, 2009 10:08 a.m.
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Staffers at the Kirk Healing Center and members of the Georgia chapter of the Veterans Support Organization help unload a truck of donations.

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Staff and clients of the Kirk Healing Center helped to disperse a large donation of household goods from the Veterans Support Organization of Georgia earlier this month.
“There are so many in need in our community these days,” said Derrick Johnson, the men’s home supervisor for the center. “We don’t see the homeless in Hinesville the same way we do in cities. They are veterans with adjustment problems, sleeping behind buildings. They are families with an underemployed breadwinner living in cars in parking lots. They are the single adult, living paycheck-to-paycheck whose home was destroyed in a fire or who loses their job because of a health crisis. They are women running away from abusive spouses. They are here and they deserve help to get their lives back on track.
“But no one organization can do it alone. We are so grateful to the Veterans Support Organization for their support of Georgia veterans and the Kirk Healing Center.”
“There’s no sense reinventing the wheel here,” said Bill Mock, chief operating officer of the Georgia chapter of the Veterans Support Organization. Mock spearheaded the recent donation effort.  
“We raise funds to support successful organizations that make a difference in the lives of Georgia’s veterans,” he said. “The Kirk Healing Center gives special attention to homeless veterans and their all-volunteer staff is very successful at working with other area organizations and agencies, like Next Step, the city of Hinesville and the Georgia Department of Labor, to assist their participants in receiving both emergency assistance and long-term follow through so that lives are restored.”
An organization like the Kirk Healing Center needs many thing to be successful, but, as one client said, it starts with inspiration. Under the leadership of founders Pastor Nancy Kornegay and Dr. Alicia Kirk, the center has flourished.
Their dedication and work ethic inspires the all-volunteer staff to reach out to area businesses, churches, community organizations and individuals.
“When so many come together for a common and worthy purpose, great things are accomplished every day,” Kornegay said. “As we celebrated our nation’s birthday, it was a good time to remember that we are one nation under God and we all benefit and prosper when we make sure that our veterans, and all our citizens, receive the support necessary to be healthy, contributing members of society.”
Regarding the staffing and support needs of the Georgia chapter of the Veterans Support Organization, Mock said anyone interested in supporting vets can learn more at www.veteranssupportga.org.
For the Kirk Healing Center, Johnson said, “Bicycles! We need at least half a dozen for our participants to use to get to job interviews, work and more.
“And we’re desperate for a couple lawn mowers and weed eaters so our participants can maintain their homes. You can get a list of our needs and information on how to donate at our Web site, www.kirkhealingcenter.org.”
 

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