COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A new charity catering to the needs of the homeless population in Columbus is asking for donors and volunteers to help make a difference.
A Columbus couple started Caring with Helping Hands on May 18, 2014. The organization provides toiletries, clothing and food every Sunday at a park located on 2nd Avenue in Columbus.
"My husband and I drove past this locations many times and we saw several homeless individuals out here," LaTala Cofield said. "We talked about doing something for a long time, but it wasn't until we actually brought food and clothing to give to the homeless individuals on May 18th."
Cofield pays for everything out of her own pocket. She needs more donors and volunteers to help her charity reach more people in need.
"We come out to this park that's right across from John B. Amos Cancer Center," Cofield said. "We come out every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to provide people with free meals and more. Many people think homeless people are lazy, but it's just not that simple. Not everyone without a home do drugs or things like that. These are people who have been down on their luck, lost their jobs, medical situations, getting out after being incarcerated… there are reasons and stories behind these people."
Anthony Madlock, 69, moved to Columbus from Atlanta to live a better life about 11 years ago. However, Madlock was not able to find a decent job and he never thought he'd find himself homeless.
"I was incarcerated," Madlock explained. "Once I got out, I became homeless. I don't have a family here and everything went downhill so fast. I ended up at Lakebottom Park and I lived in the bathroom for six months. I moved around and I ended up in this park on 2nd Avenue. I look forward to seeing Latala every Sunday. We get by with the support people give us."
Cofield brings her family members to help the homeless population since there aren't enough volunteers. She was able to help a few homeless people find jobs this summer and return to society, and Cofield enjoys seeing progress.
"We've had some great cases where all we did was provide a little support," Cofield said. "And some people got back on their feet. We have a crisis out here and we can't always blame and think its individuals' fault. There's a lot that goes on behind the scene that we don't understand. We need to start helping these people."
"When people come down here to help us and everything, it makes all the burden feel a little lighter," Madlock said. "They make everything easier."
Those interested in volunteering or donating to Caring with Helping Hands can visit the organization's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caring-with-Helping-Hands/1525707490999976
People can also email LaTala Cofield at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.