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Elkhart couple steps up to help homeless in Goshen and Elkhart with limited resources

GOSHEN, Ind. -- An Elkhart couple is trying to make a difference for the homeless in the community.

They set up at the Heritage Trail in Goshen to give away supplies to those without a roof over their heads as the temperatures are dropping.

It all started a couple months ago; John Bess and Brandy Wixson were taking a walk through a local park in Elkhart and came across some people in need who were taking shelter in the woods.

 “I just want to make a difference,” Bess said. “We came out and found tent city and we set this up, here we are. At first it was blankets out of our own home, clothes out of stuff that I don’t wear, money out of our own, just to do what we was doing.”

Today (Sunday) was their first time organizing an event to give away supplies to those in need. With winter approaching, many homeless in Elkhart and Goshen have nowhere to take shelter.

Michiana Five, a charity group for the homeless, was at the event in support of the couple’s efforts.

John Shafer, Director of Michiana Five for the Homeless, said there’s no adult shelters for homeless in Goshen.

“We need more shelters because there are hundreds of homeless who are outside year round and in the winter some of them are still unable to take advantage of weather amnesty,” Shafer said.

This puts a lot of burden on shelter in South Bend because there are not enough options.

 “Cities need to step up because people will die, people will freeze, people get frostbite, they will lose toes, we’ve seen that,” Shafer said.

“They get ran out of the parks, they’re getting $150 tickets for sleeping in the parks and they have nowhere to go,” Wixson said.

Bess and Wixson say they will continue their efforts to help the homeless because the cities of Elkhart and Goshen are not giving them enough resources to better themselves.

“We’re slowly learning how to become a non-profit organization so that way businesses will be more inclined to donate to our cause,” Wixson said. “Right now it’s just the goodness of people’s hearts.”

For now, anyone who wishes to donate can reach out to Bess or Wixson via their personal Facebook pages until they can set up their non-profit.

They need items like blankets, gloves, clothes, tarps, tents, and non-perishable food.

https://www.facebook.com/john.bess.5876

https://www.facebook.com/brandi.wixsonstephens

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