A blessing for the homeless

Published 11:00 pm Friday, February 21, 2014

Homeless in Suffolk. The numbers are not huge, but they’re very real. And for the homeless people in Suffolk this winter, the numbers have included some of the coldest temperatures ever recorded in the city.

The Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk’s Night Stay Program has come at just the right time for those unfortunate souls who otherwise might have found themselves struggling to stay warm.

Nineteen area churches have pooled their resources to provide assistance and — more importantly this winter — shelter for Suffolk’s small but desperate population of homeless people. Volunteers in the program give the clients transportation, feed them breakfast and sometimes even help with their laundry. And, of course, they provide a vitally important place for the clients to sleep.

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Some of the participants have jobs. Most of the rest are at least looking for jobs. They don’t lend themselves to generalities concerning racial, age or gender demographics, and they don’t fit the stereotypes most people hold about homeless people.

“They’re not drug addicts and alcoholics,” said Cheryl Griffin, who has helped coordinate the program. “They don’t want trouble. They just want a warm place to sleep.”

The Night Stay Program a blessing to a group of people who are desperate for whatever blessing they can get.