Posted on August 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM
Friday, Aug 10 at 2:16 PM
HOUSTON—As the temperature rises, so does the population at the Star of Hope Mission. Houston’s homeless are seeking refuge from the heat and all the challenges it may bring.
“When the temperature is hot, people are uncomfortable anyway. They may not have air-conditioning, things may be breaking down,” says Marilyn Fountain with Star of Hope. “The resources may not be there.”
Under such circumstances, a situation can easily get heated.
“Things happen more in the summer, like domestic abuse,” Fountain said.
Regardless of what brings people, the nonprofit wants shelter residents to have all they may need. Each guest admitted into one of Star of Hope’s shelters receives a bag of toiletries to make him or her feel more comfortable and at home.
“If you smell good and you’re able to dress decent and have the toiletries and stuff you have at home, then you feel like you don’t have too much missing,” said homeless mother of three Lisa Sherman.
She is grateful for everything from the shampoo to the air-conditioning and even summer cap for her daughters.
“Being here, I can go back to school, sacrifice a little bit of time, and not worry about what we’re going to eat and where we’re going to stay,” she said.
The Star of Hope depends greatly on the generosity of others, but is often not a top priority to others during the summer months.
“Part of the population is having a good time, enjoying summer, thinking about vacation, being involved with their children and their children’s activities,” Fountain said.
“If people are trying to make themselves presentable, go and get a job and try to change their circumstances, they have to have these things,” Fountain said.
Shampoo, toothpaste, and soap are greatly needed. While it may not seem like much it’s a lot, enough to give someone hope in a time of need.
Donations can be dropped at the KHOU 11 studios through Friday, August 10. Donations are accepted year-round at the Star of Hope.