Central together to help homeless family

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By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

CENTRAL — Residents are pitching in to help the Central Police Department assist a family in need.

On April 25, the Central Police Department posted a message on its Facebook page from police chief Khristy Justice.

“Friends and family of the CPD, I am looking for donations to help a family in desperate need,” Justice wrote.

Police had learned of a family of four who had been living in a vehicle for some time.

The family — a disabled grandmother, a 36-year-old mentally disabled daughter, a 4-year-old boy and another boy less than a year old — were taken to a shelter a week before but were turned away because they didn’t meet certain criteria, Justice wrote.

“Thank the Lord, he placed them in Central where he knew we would help,” Justice wrote.

Justice said she’d met with the family again after they left the shelter.

“We have absolutely fallen in love with this family,” Justice wrote. “We want to help them and then guide them in getting the assistance they need without the fear of the children being separated from them. That has been the biggest fear for them so far.”

With the help of “new friends that I have met along the way and friends that have always helped,” a home was secured for them, she wrote.

The home is furnished with appliances, but the family needs furnishings and clothing. The Central Police Department is collecting those items on behalf of the family.

Items needed include towels, washcloths, full and queen-sized sheet sets, blankets, pillows and pillow cases, dishes, pots and pans, tissue paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes. The family needs clothes as well. The grandmother and the daughter need clothes in size 22-24 or 3X. The grandmother wears size 11 shoes. The daughter wears size 15 men’s shoes.

The children need clothes in size 8-10 and 4-5T. Size 6 diapers are also needed.

Other needs include a television, dressers and other furniture, as well as a playpen for the baby.

“They are starting off from ground zero, so anything that you can think of, they will need,” Justice wrote.

It didn’t take long for the word to spread.

Within three days, the initial Facebook post had been seen by more than 50,000 people and shared more than 800 times.

“I never imagined the response we have gotten,” Justice wrote in a subsequent Facebook post. “We are so lucky to have witnessed such giving hearts.”

In that update, Justice wrote that the family had been approved for an apartment and that she hoped they would be able to move in in early May.

“I think we were more excited than the family, mainly because that’s all I wanted from day one” she wrote.

Justice said deposits on the family’s utilities were being worked out.

She asked for volunteers to help coordinate picking up donated items.

Donations for the family will be taken until this Friday, May 6. Volunteers will also be needed to sort and organize the items for the family. Clothes hangers would also greatly appreciated.

Any items left over will be stored for the next family in need, Justice said.

“You guys are amazing,” Justice wrote, thanking all those who had donated so far. “I can’t thank you enough for everything that you have done. The power of prayer and love has transitioned this family of four from living in a Suburban to their own place in a week.”

For more information on how you can help, contact the Central Police Department at (864) 639-4020.