Walk For The Homeless


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As the number of homeless families rise, so does the need to provide them shelter, and one local organization has been working for many years helping those without a home.

On Saturday, Good Works  Inc. will hold its 10th annual Walk for the Homeless, an event that unites community members in support of those in need.

The walk serves as an educational event that aims to raise awareness and funding for the Good Works Timothy House.

“It’s really a huge opportunity to educate our community about what people go through when they become homeless, and also why people become homeless,” says Director of Caregiving Andrea Horsch.

The Good Works Timothy House is the only homeless shelter that serves men, women and children in nine southeast Ohio counties.

However, the size of the shelter does not represent the size of the region it serves; the Timothy House can only hold about 15 people at a time.

Although the City of Athens’s Ohio Community Ten Year Plans to End Homelessness details the city’s plans to offer assistance to individuals and families in need, according to Horsch, the need for temporary housing is high.

Last year, 150 people sought to stay the Timothy House, but 142 people were turned away due to lack of space.

The overwhelming amount of people seeking shelter at the Timothy House represents a statewide trend.

The Athens County Housing Coalition’s 2011 Ohio Homelessness Report showed homeless Ohioan families with children increased 8.4 percent in 2011.

At 5,218 persons in families without a home, it’s the highest level of family homelessness since statewide reporting began in 2008.

Horsch says that homelessness is complex community issue and the reason behind an individual’s homelessness varies.

“Some people never had opportunities, other people come from really unhealthy families, other people are coming from incarceration or they’ve been fired from their job,” Horsch says.

Information on Good Works Inc. and the 10th Annual Walk for the Homeless can be found at www.good-works.net.