The number of homeless people in Klamath Falls is on the rise. But an event held Thursday is helping those homeless to get back on track.
William Taber is a homeless father of three children. Taber notes that just a few basic necessities can give them hope...
"Get us blankets and food, and a free hot meal right now. We're going from place to place right now, and hopefully on the first, we'll have our own place."
Rob Petchell of Klamath and Lake Community Action Services says a variety of items are given away: "We have a lot of winter clothes that we give away, some food baskets, along with jackets, boots, blankets, and sleeping bags."
Donna Bowman of KLCAS explains that the event also helps to identify just how many people need help.
"Today we're doing a winter 'Give-A-Way', and what we do every year the last week of January, we do a count of homeless people."
281 people showed up for Thursday's 'Give-A-Way'. That compares to 150 last year.
Timothy Hetrick was one of the volunteers helping out. "We're here with Hosanna Christian Key Club, and we came to help today, to help out with the cartoning thing."
Organizers say they're seeing more and more homeless families. There were 67 children at Thursday's 'Give-A-Way'.
Three of those children were William Taber's kids... "I just thank God there's places like this that help." Taber said.
The homeless count will be used to help calculate future funding for local agencies. As the 'Give-A-Way' was taking place, a head count was also being taken at local missions and shelters.
A related event called 'Project Homeless Connect' is held in Klamath Falls every August.