Nonprofit center clothes the homeless
Karolyn Spencer knows plenty of people who need warm clothes this season. She runs Feed My Sheep Ministry, and operates a drop-in center for the Roaring Fork Valley’s homeless.Most of the people she helps go without much of the time. Some sleep in cars, tents or caves. Others stand by the road for an hour each morning hoping to catch a ride upvalley to work. Others walk to the start of their 5:30 a.m. shifts at local stores before the buses start running.At any rate, all of these people need warm clothes this time of year, said Spencer. That’s why Spencer is asking for $500 to buy 25 people two pairs of long underwear each. Spencer started Feed My Sheep a year ago in January. She had arrived in the valley a few years before, retired from a social work job in Chicago. She played around for a few years, but grew sick of it and started working with Salvation Army.”I began seeing guys coming in who were going up on those construction sites without shoes and without warm clothes,” she said.Spencer looked around for a place to help homeless people, and eventually found the Silver Spruce Hotel, which was willing to rent her a room by the month. “They’ve opened their heart. They were the only ones that would do it,” she said. Spencer runs the center out of one room from 9 a.m. to noon. She gives homeless people a place to take a shower, make phone calls, get mail, and have a bit of breakfast before they have to leave for the day.”It gives them a place to relax since they’re usually out camping, or tenting, or in caves,” she said. Spencer helped out about 20 folks a day through the summer and fall, but since winter has set in only gets 13-17 people a day. “Most are working so the numbers are down,” she said. The start of the ski season and Christmas seasons has helped people find jobs, she said.Still, Spencer would like to see all the people she helps with two pairs of $10 long underwear. She, along with many other nonprofits, wrote the Glenwood Springs Post Independent looking for help, and the GSPI set up a holiday fund. Spencer asks that people wanting to help not drop items off at the Silver Spruce Hotel, but donate to the holiday fund or call her at 984-9713.
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