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Season of giving inspires Rochester organization to help the homeless

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Following the announcement on Thursday from Gov. Kathy Hochul of a statewide holiday drive to benefit families in need across New York, many necessities such as clothing are being sought to assist several organizations. In the spirit of the season of giving, one group is working to provide those same necessities for families in need in the Rochester community.

Providing hundreds of clothing to several families a month, the team at Safe in His Arms Ministries has seen the struggle firsthand.

“I’ve been a school driver, a school bus driver for over 20 years,” treasurer of Safe in His Arms Ministries Daphine Hawkins said. “And we’ve had children with no socks and no jacket. Now being a part of Safe in his Arms Ministry, I can say, ‘Hey, I know I can get your coat.’”

The organization noticed many individuals in their community were not provided the basic essentials of clothing.

“We just love people and we recognize that there’s a need and we want to fill it,” president of Safe in His Arms Ministries Melissa Adams said. “We did not plan a clothing closet, it was just that the demand at the time.”

Aside from seeing the financial struggles, the organization has seen an influx of multiple issues that can factor into homelessness.

“You don’t know where people came from, you don’t know what they’re going through,” Hawkins said. “There is a need. People are out on the streets, I mean, just giving a person a blanket or being able to buy hats and gloves or something like that, anything like that is always going to be a blessing to people.”

Understanding the impact they can have in a person’s life has motivated Adams to continue to do more, reflecting on a time she had connected with a mother in need.

“Last year this time, she was actually on the verge of losing housing and being homeless,” Adams said. “This year, she’s actually in a stable home and her kids are still there. Some issues, but they have come a long way and I’m just very proud of that.”

Seeing an increase in homelessness across the country, the demand for assistance is needed now more than ever. There’s hope that sharing success stories can also inspire others to lend a helping hand.

“We’ve all had some sort of need at one point in time in our life,” Hawkins said. “And even if it’s just, you know, a conversation, someone needs a shirt on their back, a coat, a hat, a pair of socks, whatever it is. It’s so important to be there for others in this world that we live in, to love on each other and to know that people care about you is very big.”

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