On any given night, there are hundreds of homeless men, women, and children in shelters and on the streets in Montgomery. These include veterans, survivors of domestic violence, individuals suffering from mental illness or substance abuse disorders, as well as families with children. The winter cold will be here soon, and MACH is preparing now to serve the most basic needs of Montgomery’s homeless population through its annual Blanket Drive.
During the month of November, MACH will place three PODS storage containers at strategic locations in Montgomery to serve as collection points for new and gently used blankets, coats, hats, gloves, socks, and other winter wear. PODS storage containers will be located at Cloverdale Playhouse at 690 Cloverdale Road, the Festival Plaza shopping center at the intersection of Taylor and Vaughn Roads, and the MACH office at 101 Coliseum Boulevard. The PODS will be open on three Saturdays in November (November 2, 9, & 16) from 10 AM to 2 PM to accept donations from the public.
“The Blanket Drive is held annually to benefit members of our community who are experiencing homelessness,” said Lydia Pickett, Executive Director of the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless. “Individuals and families, whether living in shelters, on the streets, or in places not meant for human habitation, need help keeping warm during cold weather. By addressing this basic need, we take the first step in building relationships that will allow us to help people move from homelessness to sustainable housing.”
Blankets and clothing will be distributed through MACH’s member agencies, including local homeless shelters and service providers. MACH volunteers will also distribute the items as part of the annual Point-in-Time count (homeless enumeration) held during the last week of January. During the count volunteer teams will visit places the homeless are known to frequent, such as shelters, underpasses, or abandoned buildings, to count and survey the homeless. While conducting the count, volunteers will hand out food, hygiene kits, and blankets and clothing collected during the Drive.
This year’s Blanket Drive will lead into National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week (November 16 - 24, 2019). The Blanket Drive is presented with the assistance of PODS Storage Containers, Cloverdale Playhouse, and Festival Plaza.
For more information or to volunteer or make a donation, contact the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless at (334) 261-6182.
About the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless
The vision of the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (MACH) is to be the leader our community’s effort to plan, coordinate, and develop resources with the goal of ending homelessness. Founded in 2001, MACH is the HUD-designated Continuum of Care for a five- county area and is responsible for examining homeless issues, devising methods to alleviate homelessness, providing services to the homeless and to those at risk of becoming homeless, and conducting a yearly survey of homeless individuals within its geographic boundaries. www.midalhomeless.org