Liberty Regional Homeless Coalition’s seventh annual Walk for Shelter raised about $4,500 this year, less than organizers had hoped.
But there’s always next year. It just won’t be the same holiday weekend.
“We have already decided to move this event away from Easter, and make it a strict fundraiser,” LRHC President the Rev. Jim McIntosh said.
Roughly 80 people showed up for Saturday’s walk, which McIntosh moved from Good Friday to boost attendance. Among those who participated was Adrienne Jackson, who walked with Lula Davis.
“Every citizen needs to give back and contribute to society,” Jackson said. “That’s why I’m here, to support the effort. There are just too many resources in America and there’s no reason for anyone to be homeless.”
Lisa Overbey, Long County Family Connection coordinator, was among the walkers.
A member of the LRHC executive board, Overbey said she’s been “a volunteer all my life.”
“When I heard about this organization, I knew it was something we need,” she said. “The coalition has done amazing things in Long County already, just in the last nine months. Long County has no public facility, no resources — but if we have a client who
needs things, we can always turn to the coalition to support.”
In the last year, the LRHC expanded its services into Long and McIntosh counties, and McIntosh said Saturday the group could begin offering help to homeless people in Wayne County as well.
The LRHC has grown in recent years, expanding its base of volunteers from 19 members in 2016 to more than 100 last year.
Through more than $50,000 in money and in-kind donations, the group was able to provide about $21,000 in emergency relief to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
It also provided more than $10,000 in clothing to the Liberty County School System, which last school year had 210 homeless students, and Long County, which had 20 homeless students, according to the group’s 2017 annual report.
Liberty Regional Homeless Coalition helped provide funds for 169 requests for help in 2017, while also increasing support to veterans.
Overbey said the coalition’s expanded reach has made a difference in a lot of lives.
“Just to be able to help these folks, help them try to get self-sufficient, so they can get back on their feet, that means a lot to me,” she said. “That’s why I’m here.”