LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It's been a hard road for Mark Green, who suffered frostbite while spending his nights out in the cold. He explained that he often spent days and nights in front of a local Kroger.
"You see a person sitting up beside a video machine wrapped up in a blanket; they sort of notice you," Green said.
Strangers urged him to find his way to Wayside Christian Mission to get help and shelter. He's now working with a case manager who assists him with his medical condition, and he's never been more grateful to have a warm place to stay.
"I feel that Wayside has opened their arms and it is up to me to accept it and accept it the right way," Green said.
Chief Operating Officer Nina Moseley said folks like Mark are a testament to the type of work they are committed to doing each day.
"We want folks to come in. That is the main thing, to be safe and to come in. And a lot of times, it isn't very comforting for these folks, who lived out for so long, because the shelter is a big place," Moseley said. "There are many beds; there are many different programs there; and it's sometimes a little daunting for them to come in. But our staff works very hard to make sure everyone feels welcome, to make sure everyone feels safe."
The organization also engages in outreach to those who may be unaware that help is available.
"Christian Mission started the Good Samaritan Program back in 1989, so for three decades now, we have been going out to the homeless on the street, in the camps, just wherever they may be, and encouraging them to come in the shelter," Moseley said.
Food, hot drinks, and blankets are always given to those who refuse the offer of shelter. For those in need, Wayside Christian Mission is there to extend a helping hand.
"Christian Mission is committed to providing emergency transportation during winter storms and cold weather in Kentucky. If anyone is out in a camp or in the street, if they want to come in, or if a citizen sees someone on the street trying to survive, they can call the number 502-996-1888, and Wayside will respond. They will go to that area, they will find the person and we will do our best to bring them back into the shelter."
Right now, Wayside needs volunteers, bottled water, pillows, and bedsheets.