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LAMP opens doors as Valdosta freeze moves in; limited funds, resources put pressure on community

Posted at 6:02 PM, Dec 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-19 18:02:51-05
  • Cold weather is moving into Valdosta, so LAMP is opening their doors to keep neighbors in need warm.
  • Demand for housing assistance in the area is nearly five times greater than supply.
  • Watch the video to see how you can help the shelter serve more neighbors.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

As temperatures drop, our homeless neighbors are looking for a places to go. "Anxiety... I can come up with a couple of words... depression."

I’m Malia Thomas, in Valdosta.

It's not even officially winter yet, but freezing temperatures are putting pressure shelters in my neighborhood. LAMP has opened their doors as a warming shelter until Thursday, but they can only accommodate a dozen people.

Meet Kevin Johnson. He tells me he has been staying with friends and gets a motel when he needs it. "It's hard. Rent's going up and stuff like that, but you got to find a way."

He gives his time to volunteer at LAMP, because he knows how it feels to walk in their shoes.

"Tell people all the time you see somebody that's on the street, just talk to them'. You ain't got to buy them none to eat or nothing... just conversation, make them know that they exist. There's a lot of people who don't think they exist."

Back in October, I visited LAMP as they were working with VSU to help unsheltered neighbors learn to garden and make food.

"We, as humans, should not be the sacrifice for money."

Just two months later, their director, Yurshema Flanders tells me they're facing a new challenge: protecting people from hypothermia.

Check out these numbers for housing assistance for Valdosta.

To keep it simple, demand is nearly five times greater than supply, leaving LAMP and other local shelters to find ways to manage the numbers.

"Wish I could do more, of course, but we do what we can."

There are ways you can help LAMP keep their doors open.

You can reach LAMP at 229-245-7157 or donate directly at https://www.lampinc.org/give-help1. In Valdosta, I’m Malia Thomas, ABC27.