WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Shelters, Volunteers Helping Homeless Through Cold

Reported: Jan. 7, 2014 10:44 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 8, 2014 9:36 AM EST
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

Charleston, W.Va. (Kera Mashek) - When it is this brutally cold, being outside in the elements becomes a life or death matter for the homeless. In fact, with single digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chills, the effects of frostbite can be felt within just 10 minutes. That's why volunteers are out checking areas where homeless people often stay, urging them to get into a shelter before the cold becomes deadly.

"We just don't want people out here freezing to death," said David Smeade with Union Mission Crossroads.

Union Mission Crossroads volunteers are out going through alleys, around empty buildings and along river banks in Charleston looking for the homeless, offering them a ride to a shelter, clean clothing, and hot food. Thankfully, Tuesday afternoon, few homeless could be found outside.
But there was plenty of evidence of where they'd been sleeping in the bitter cold: from piled up blankets along a window sill behind a dumpster, to two tent cities along the Elk River.

And for David Smeade, the mission to check on those who might be staying out in the cold, is quite personal.

"I was homeless at one time, and I just praise the Lord that He changed me, and he's now allowing me to help people who are less fortunate. You know, we all make mistakes, and it's up to us to help them and show them there's a better way," said Smeade.

In one tent city, we found a man named Dave, who didn't want us to show his face. He's been out on the streets now for months.

"My mother died and when she passed away, they came back and kind of took our house away so my brother went off to Florida, and I just decided to go camping for a little bit until we can get right and get back in," Dave said.

Using makeshift heat sources, he says it's bearable, but he's glad community volunteers are checking up on people left fending for themselves in this arctic weather...volunteers like Michael Williams and his nephew. Williams drives by one tent city every day on his way to work, and felt compelled to help. Together, they delivered wheelbarrows full of firewood.

"We done a Facebook page where anybody could donate wood and we ended up with a truckload, and that's what we're doing is carrying it down and hopefully bless somebody with it," said Michael Williams, a Maranatha Church volunteer.

Between volunteers like them and shelters opening their arms and doors to help anyone in need, many homeless people are finding comfort and warmth on a bitterly cold nights.

Union Mission Crossroads says if you see a homeless person needing help, instead of giving them money, call the shelter or police, and someone can arrange for a ride to come pick them up, so that hopefully no one dies trying to survive outside.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Judge Bars Plants And Office From Handling Certain Domestic Violence Cases
News
Apr. 23, 2014 6:51 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - Kanawha County Circuit ...
Full News Story and Video

Kanawha Judge Bars Kanawha Prosecutor, His Office From Prosecuting Certain Cases
News
Apr. 23, 2014 3:07 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – Kanawha Circuit Judge ...
Full News Story

Potential Layoff Notices Worry Miners In Boone County
News
Apr. 23, 2014 6:44 PM EDT
WHARTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- Patriot Coal Corp Wednesday ...
Full News Story and Video


News Winfield Getting Multi-Million Dollar Sewer Plant
Apr. 23, 2014 7:02 PM EDT
News Search Called Off In Reported Plane Crash In Kanawha; Plane Lands Safely At Yeager
Apr. 23, 2014 6:31 PM EDT
News 85th Habitat Home Dedicated In Cabell County
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News Girls Make Donation To Children's Home Society
Apr. 23, 2014 6:32 PM EDT
News McDowell Families Displaced After Homes Deemed Unsafe
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News Crews Say Progress Made Fighting New River Gorge Fire
Apr. 23, 2014 6:33 PM EDT
News Obama Administration Tightening Coal Dust Limits To Curb Black Lung
Apr. 23, 2014 5:05 PM EDT
News Motorcycle Rider Taken To Hospital Following Crash
Apr. 23, 2014 3:33 PM EDT
News McDowell Education Program Gets $300,000 AT&T Grant
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News Capito Asks CDC About Inhaling MCHM
Apr. 23, 2014 3:36 PM EDT
News Marshall University Approves Budget, Tuition Increase
Apr. 23, 2014 3:37 PM EDT
News WV Group Wants Family Resource Funding Restored
Apr. 23, 2014 3:13 PM EDT
News Health Officials Say They Can't Definitively Tie Health Effects To Spill
Apr. 23, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Officials Promote Saturday's Drug Take-Back Day
Apr. 23, 2014 1:13 PM EDT
News Police Say Bystander Wounded In Shooting On Charleston's West Side
Apr. 23, 2014 1:16 PM EDT
News Kanawha Magistrate Ward Harshbarger Faces Ethics Charges
Apr. 23, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Road In Lawrence County, Ohio, To Face Intermittent Closures For Debris Removal
Apr. 23, 2014 11:19 AM EDT
News Man Charged With Stealing Credit Card From Elderly Victim
Apr. 23, 2014 11:23 AM EDT
News Suspect Accused Of Forging Prescriptions In Scioto County
Apr. 23, 2014 11:28 AM EDT
News Two Pedestrians Struck By Vehicle In Floyd County
Apr. 23, 2014 11:11 AM EDT
News Boil Water Advisory In Effect In Clay County
Apr. 23, 2014 10:00 AM EDT
News Flags Flown At Half-Staff In Honor Of Mick Staton
Apr. 23, 2014 9:19 AM EDT
News Elephants To Chow Down At Annual Feast Thursday In Charleston
Apr. 23, 2014 9:22 AM EDT
News Bible Verse Removed From School's Gymnasium, Team's Website
Apr. 23, 2014 8:42 AM EDT
News Officials Discuss Path Forward From Water Crisis
Apr. 23, 2014 3:09 PM EDT
News Officials Say As Many As 108,000 Experienced Health Issues From Chemical Spill
Apr. 22, 2014 11:04 PM EDT
News Marshall Could Increase Tuition
Apr. 22, 2014 11:06 PM EDT
News Findings Released On Kanawha Plane Crash
Apr. 22, 2014 11:03 PM EDT
News Candidate Forum Held In Putnam County
Apr. 22, 2014 11:02 PM EDT
News St. Albans To Vote On Fire Levy
Apr. 22, 2014 11:01 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Challenge to Harrison Power Plant deal rejected

The state Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to the Public Service Commission's approval of a $1.1 billion deal for the sale of the Harrison Power Station.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Bus driver, monitor resign after child left on bus

An Oldham County school bus driver and bus monitor have resigned after a preschooler with special needs was left on the bus for at least three hours.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio women held captive seek Joan Rivers' apology

Attorneys for two women held in a Cleveland home and abused for a decade say Joan Rivers should apologize for comparing living in her daughter's guest room with the captivity they experienced.
Full Story

PREVIOUS NEWS: NOV | CURRENT







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.