Butler Homeless Initiative works to make Christmas special for all

Local

The holiday season often brings families together for a special dinner or gift exchange. And while we celebrate this time, some people can be left behind.

The Butler Homeless Initiative Cold Weather shelter has been trying to help them since they opened this winter.

Homelessness isn’t unique to Butler County.

“There’s a lot more people out there that I didn’t realize were homeless,” said Ed Maddern, Assistant Manager at Butler Homeless Initiative.

And in the last several months, it has become a hot topic.

“There was a lot of concern in the community and there were people who had many opinions and concerns about it,” said Terry Radebaugh, Board President at Butler Homeless Initiative.

In August, El Dorado Police told KSN that they were receiving calls about homelessness. Shelter leaders say the conversation sparked more action.

“People and organizations and businesses who have been supportive of the shelter who say, yes we need to step up, and do more,” said Radebaugh.

“All the items in here have been donated,” said Maddern.

The shelter is able to provide food, pillows, and other items to women and men, on top of a place to stay and a warm meal. Last winter they housed 74 unique individual people and they say every year, there’s more individuals needing help, including kids.

“I would guess that unfortunately we will see children here before the end of the shelter season,” said Radebaugh.

To try and make the holidays a little brighter, they allow guests to decorate and embrace the season.

“We’re going to be getting presents,” said Maddern.

And they say all this wouldn’t be possible without donations and community support, which is why they have a special message tonight.

“Thank you and Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas,” said the leaders.

If you’re interested in helping the shelter they encourage you to contact them at 316-323-4122, and for more information on them, you can visit their page on Facebook.

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