Helping the Homeless: Savannah woman’s mission to support those in need

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Seven years ago, Betsy Rothman lost her sister to domestic violence. After that experience, she wanted to be a voice for people who needed one.

It moved her to start a Facebook group called Helping the Homeless. Through that, Betsy offers free haircuts, nail care, meals and personal care bags to homeless people.

“They’re people just like you and me,” Betsy said. “We’re all human and we all have our downfalls.”

Chatham County has the second-highest rate of homelessness in Georgia, according to the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless.

There are a number of factors that can cause homelessness, according to the Homeless Authority. Some of them include high housing costs, substance abuse, physical or mental disabilities, job loss and domestic violence.

Most recently, Betsy and her family found a woman living under an awning with her baby near Forsyth Park. She had been homeless for four years.

“I want my son to have a better life, a better future and that’s what I want,” the woman said.

The woman is fleeing a domestic violence situation and asked News 3 to withhold her identity. Betsy helped the woman and her baby find temporary housing through Airbnb. Four months later, they are now in an apartment.

“She helped me a lot,” the woman said. “I’m grateful for her to help me out. Especially for my son.”

“I actually lost a baby last year so it’s been very hard,” Betsy said. “When I first met them, I just broke down crying because when you experience a loss like that it’s hard. But I know what I’m doing is helping people and that’s helping me heal, too.”

Seven years later, her Facebook group has grown to more than 4,000 members. Betsy said she is always looking for supply and money donations to help her efforts. She’s currently fundraising to help the woman get hearing aids.

Betsy has bigger plans to one day build a community to house the homeless by the thousands. But for now, she’ll keep doing her part to raise awareness and help others understand.

“They really just need someone to be there for them and help them, not put them down,” Betsy said. “They just need somebody to show them love and that’s what we need to do as a community.”

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