Faces of the homeless - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Faces of the homeless

Posted: Updated:
   Columbus is attempting to do away with homelessness within the next decade.  Volunteers with the Home for Good Alliance recently canvassed some homeless areas in Columbus to get information about them.  I accompanied them with a video camera.

   It was before daylight.  The temperature was 32 degrees.  One of the stops was a wooded area behind a church off Fifth Avenue.  What I saw reminded me of what's left behind when a tornado hits a trailer park...strewn debris, scattered garbage, heaps of rubble, an occasional battered pup tent. The homeless folks were already gone, getting showers at the showering program or scrounging for an early breakfast.
 
   The group also scoured the area around the old Claflin School and the abandoned Swift Mill.  There they found a homeless man named Shannon.  He was quite friendly and agreed to answer questions about himself like how long he had been homeless, where he slept, how he gets his food, and where he goes for healthcare.  For participating, Shannon got a five-dollar gift card to a fast food restaurant so he could get breakfast.

   Bridges provide shelter for dozens of homeless folks in Columbus.  They tuck themselves into the space directly underneath the bridge.  They use blankets to make a barrier against the wind and cold.  This is where they sleep, even when ice and snow is on the ground. 

   Kim calls the bridge home for now.  She moved to Columbus from Connecticut over a decade ago.  I asked her to describe a typical day.  She said, "It's pretty boring.  I don't have a job so I'm trying to get my ID so I can get a job."  

   Kim is sensitive to her plight in life.  She told me, "Don't look at us like we're in a different class.  I went into a store last week and they said, 'They're trying to stop you people from coming in here.' I said, 'You people?'"  After a long pause Kim said, "Just give us a chance."

   Another bridge dweller is Kristen.  She moved here from Missouri ten years ago.  When I asked her what could be done to help her out, she said, "Houses around here...they might be able to fix them up and house some of us until, you know, help us get jobs, try to help us get a better life."

   I asked Kristen to describe what it's like living under the bridge.  "To me, I really don't like it because everybody's basically in your business.  It's cold sometimes but we can pretty well handle that.  Other than that, it's alright because you get to meet new people."

   That afternoon the forecast called for sleet and snow with temperatures falling into the 20's.  I asked Kristen what her plans were for the night.  She said with a smile, "Get underneath my covers and lay down and go to sleep."

   If you would like to volunteer to help the homeless in our area, call (706) 327-3255 to learn about community agencies that serve the homeless.

Phil Scoggins

After taking 16-year break from broadcasting, Phil rejoined WRBL as a news anchor where he has been ever since. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Update: Kellogg's plant to close by end of 2015, company responds

    Update: Kellogg's plant to close by end of 2015, company responds

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:11 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:11:13 GMT
    The Columbus Kellogg's plant is expected to close by the end of 2015.The Columbus Kellogg's plant is expected to close by the end of 2015.
    The Columbus Kellogg's plant is expected to be shut down by the end of 2015.
    The Columbus Kellogg's plant is expected to be shut down by the end of 2015.
  • PHOTOS: Opelika Circle K robbed

    PHOTOS: Opelika Circle K robbed

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:30 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:30:44 GMT
    Opelika police release images showing Thursday's robbery at a Circle K.Opelika police release images showing Thursday's robbery at a Circle K.

    Opelika police hope someone will recognize robbery suspects and call authorities.

    Opelika police hope someone will recognize robbery suspects and call authorities.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Venice pilot issues apology, explanation on deadly beach crash

    Venice pilot issues apology, explanation on deadly beach crash

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:24:51 GMT
    A statement from Karl Kokomoor is read by the pastor as his wife (far left) listens.A statement from Karl Kokomoor is read by the pastor as his wife (far left) listens.
    The pilot of the plane that crashed on Caspersen beach on July 27th killing a father and his 9 yr old daughter released a statement through the pastor of his church late Tuesday. As the pastor read the statementfrom Karl Kokomoor, the pilot's wife listened as details of what happened during thedeadly plane crash were revealed in a press conference at the church.
    The pilot of the plane that crashed on Caspersen beach on July 27th killing a father and his 9 yr old daughter released a statement through the pastor of his church late Tuesday. As the pastor read the statementfrom Karl Kokomoor, the pilot's wife listened as details of what happened during thedeadly plane crash were revealed in a press conference at the church.
  • Sheriff's Office showcases "Faces of Meth" program as a lesson to all

    Sheriff's Office showcases "Faces of Meth" program as a lesson to all

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-07-21 15:33:26 GMT
    Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Deputy King worked with his co-workers in the Classification Unit to identify people who had been in custody more than once. He then worked to verify criminal records and files to determine and assure a history of methamphetamine re...
    Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Deputy King worked with his co-workers in the Classification Unit to identify people who had been in custody more than once. He then worked to verify criminal records and files to determine and assure a history of methamphetamine re...
  • MUGS: 36 Arrests In Greenville Prostitution Sting

    MUGS: 36 Arrests In Greenville Prostitution Sting

    Wednesday, February 26 2014 12:58 PM EST2014-02-26 17:58:17 GMT
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.