HOWELL – The leader of Howell’s homeless community took to social media recently to encourage residents to donate winter items that can be distributed to the homeless weekly.
Minister Steve Brigham of the Destiny’s Bridge encampment in Howell recalled an encounter in the Nov. 13 post, with a homeless man who would be cold for another week.
“As I was doing the weekly distribution for the homeless and poor this past week at the Town Square, a homeless man looked in the back door of my bus and said ‘Are there any more blankets?’
“As I looked at this poor man with his look of desperation, I turned to search the bus one more time to see if I had missed anything. ‘No.’ I told the man, ‘I’m sorry I don’t have much this week, but I will try to have some more next week.’
As he walked away, my heart dropped knowing this was just the start of the cold, and bitter weather, and it would be a long time before we saw the warm sunny days of summer again.”
Each week for the past 18 years, Brigham has facilitated a program that distributes much needed items to those in need in the community. On the day he encountered this man, Brigham noted there were another 60 people or more also hoping for something to keep them warm for the winter.
“I stopped, and said a little prayer, and asked God to help me meet their needs,” stated Brigham.
A later post on Nov. 20 by Brigham noted the “overwhelming outpouring of generosity” of the community in response to his call for help.
“When I saw the homeless man on Saturday morning that had asked me for a blanket the week before, he asked if I had been able to find a blanket. I told him that I had his blanket, and to spread the word to the other homeless that I had as many blankets as they needed, and to meet me at the square at one o’clock,” read Brigham’s post.
To his surprise over 80 people came out. “Before we started I told the people that we have been blessed by the kind people of the community with wonderful donations, and that there will be enough for everyone,” he stated.
And the generosity doesn’t have to stop there. With the winter season upon us, the homeless community is always in need of items to keep them warm and fed. You can help by donating even one item.
Brigham’s list of most needed items includes:
- Blankets/sleeping bags
- Warm clothing
- Socks, wool or thermal
- Shoes or boots
- Warm hats
- Hand and toe warmers
- Thermal underwear
- Nonperishable foods
- Small propane tanks, 1 pound
- Tents, 6 person or bigger
- Bottled water
- Camping supplies or Walmart gift card
- Washcloths and towels
- Tarps, 10×12 or bigger
If you wish to contribute to Brigham’s cause, items for donation can be dropped off at the encampment located at 5998 Route 9 in Howell.
“It is a beautiful community effort with those that have extra giving to those that have little. These are the things that help make a healthy and harmonious society where everyone is content,” said Brigham. “The residents of Howell have been so very kind to us over the years. I would like to express my immense gratitude to their warm hearted support.”