MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A month ago, the homeless camp in Tillman’s Corner was cleared by city officials because of complaints from the community, removing one less place for homeless people to live.
Now, some Mobile citizens are taking a new approach to helping the homeless.
Eric Overstreet and Colby Benefield are going homeless on purpose.
For 90 days starting next week they’ll live homeless in the Tillman’s Corner area, as a way to raise money for a local organization that builds tiny homes for the homeless community called Driftwood Housing.
Their goal is to raise $20,000 in pledges from people in the community based on how long they can live without resources or help.
Overstreet believes homelessness is a growing problem and says he wants to document and experience it for himself to see what resources are needed to help homeless people get off the streets and back on their feet.
“I’m going to find out if I’m not a drug addict, not an alcoholic but I’ve just been displayed and I’m homeless for some reason.. how hard is it in Mobile, Alabama to not be homeless?,” said Overstreet, the former minister to the homeless. “Will this community help me not be homeless? Are there programs available? Are the people nice enough?”
So far, Overstreet has raised $7,000 in pledges to donate to Driftwood Housing.
His hope is that this will be the next step in getting more homeless people in safe and stable conditions.
A local church is also doing what they can to expand the resources available for the homeless.
Killer Beaz works closely with The Cave Ministries. His church does a number of homeless outreach programs across Mobile with Tillman’s Corner previously being one of those places.
They not only feed and clothe the homeless, but they also offer them hygiene supplies through their backpack give back program.
They’re currently raising money for a portable shower and laundry trailer that will allow people experiencing homelessness to get cleaned up and have fresh clothes.
Beaz says their ‘Showers of Change’ program is just one of the ways they want to help and ensure the homeless have access to basic needs.
“They tell us the biggest hinderance in them getting employment is not being able to look presentable,” said Beaz. “They say it is so hard, and I’m sure it is, to apply for a job if you haven’t bathed in two weeks and been wearing the same clothes.”
Along with the portable shower, The Cave Ministries will provide clean towels, washcloths, toiletries, socks and underwear to the people who will utilize their trailer.
Click here to learn more about ‘Showers of Change.’
Click here to follow Overstreet and Benefield’s 90 day ‘homeless on purpose’ journey.