Columbus nonprofit seeks supplies to keep homeless warm through winter

Homeless in Columbus (WISH Photo)

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) – A nonprofit organization in Columbus is asking for supplies to help people struggling with homelessness get through winter.

The Columbus Homeless Independence and Resiliency Program (CHIRP) is working to keep those who are living on the streets or in tents warm and fed.

The executive director, Linda Keller, said many people can’t get into shelters for a number of reasons: Some struggle with addiction, while others work a third shift job but still can’t make ends meet.

“Not everybody has a drug problem. Some people legitimately are unlucky. This is the way they have to live,” said Keller, as she pointed at several tents set up in Columbus.

“I go home to a warm home, a bed, and I sometimes have a hard time sleeping because I know how they are sleeping. I know how they are surviving and not surviving,” Keller continued.

CHIRP is working to collect camping supplies for those in need until they’re able to get into a shelter or more permanent housing. They say the need is urgent.

“It is not the time, it’s not the year to have another homeless death,” said Christopher Rutan, who also works with CHIRP.

The organization is asking the community to step up and help by donating camping supplies like heaters, stoves and heavy duty sleeping bags.

For more information on the group and other services they provide, or if you’d like to donate, you can visit their website.