DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — Temperatures will be consistently below freezing as wintertime approaches and homeless individuals need a way to keep warm in these conditions.
Joppa Homeless Resource Center in Des Moines is gearing up its winter heat program over the weekend. The winter heat program provides space heaters with propane tanks, blankets and warm apparel to homeless people in the metro.
“52 weeks a year we go out and meet people where they’re living, under bridges, tents and vehicles. We develop relationships and let them know they matter,” said Joe Stevens the CEO & co-founder of Joppa. “We deliver supplies and try to help people when they’re ready to get back into housing.”
The winter heat program runs through the cold months of the year and during warm months the organization switches gears. But for now, the main focus is providing homeless individuals with portable heaters. Every week volunteers go out and exchange old propane tanks with new ones. There is a massive need for these heaters.
“So last month between outreach and our Homeless Resource Center we served over 500 unique homeless individuals. And the scary thing is that 351 of them are unsheltered. 351 people living outdoors right now in the cold today, and that is very scary,” said Stevens. “So for us it’s a mission.”
Stevens said that the organization needs donations and volunteers all the time. If interested go to Joppa’s website for more information.