'Stand Down' Workers Stand Up for Homeless

Carole Anthony says donations are way up this year, but so are the numbers of folks who come to the Stand Downs
Carole Anthony says donations are way up this year, but so are the numbers of folks who come to the Stand Downs
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It's a bone-chilling night outside Pilgrim Congregational in Tremont. Carole Anthony takes in several boxes of clothing from a middle-aged couple.

CAROLE ANTHONY: Oh, that is so wonderful!

DONOR: Okay, thank you.

Anthony is coordinator of this weekend's Homeless Stand Down, which takes place at Cleveland Public Hall on Saturday. The annual event is open to anyone without a permanent roof over their head. The room at Pilgrim Congregational is a sea of black plastic bags and corrugated boxes filled with clothing and personal care items, which will be available, along with various services.

CAROLE ANTHONY: We'll have everything from medical doctors, nurses, dentists, as well as social service agencies, to help them find housing, employment, veterans' benefits --- anything that they could possibly need will be in one room.

Anthony says they’re expecting people in a wide range of circumstances to drop by Saturday --- from the chronically homeless…. to the working poor who can't afford rent on a month-to-month basis… and those who recently lost their homes due to a fire or even… identity theft. Anthony says the number of people coming in has grown in recent years.

CAROLE ANTHONY: Between 2011 and the Stand Down that was in 2013, there was a 28% increase in attendance. We saw an increase in families and children, as well as veterans that just returned from active duty.

Carole Anthony adds she’s happy for the wall-to-wall donations --- the most she's ever seen. She hopes it’s enough to meet the demand.

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