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Church helps homeless with sleeping pads made out of recycled bags

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jul 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-18 22:08:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Helping Tallahassee's most vulnerable, and the environment, Ellen Oetau and other members of Good Samaritan Methodist Church are making mats out of plastic bags for the city's homeless.

"I hope this is a help to the homeless community that's the main thing," said Oetau. "But in the process, we are also keeping the bags out of the landfills."

Big Bend Continuum of Care's annual report reveals although homelessness is down 29% while around 3,000 people are homeless in Leon County every year.

This week, city and county leaders awarded more than $4 million for local organizations to help the homeless.

"If somebody can be helped with one-time nominal assistance-- we also use homelessness prevention," said Wander. "So if they have past due rent or utilities, we'll help pay that to keep them in their unit so they don't experience homelessness."

Amanda Wander with the non-profit says the 1.4 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan will be used to support various services like transitional housing and prevention education efforts.

Until the homeless crisis in the county is over, or numbers go down, people like Sandy Sanders will keep helping the homeless.

"I know I'm helping somebody, and it's fun and enjoyable to do something that helps somebody else," said Sanders.

Good Samaritan says it takes about 700 bags to make one mat. Members meet once a month to make the mats, so their efforts are ongoing.

If you would like to help their cause or donate plastic bags, you can contact the church directly.