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Arkansas shelters seeking donations ahead of winter

Homeless shelters accept donation year-round, but after last year's snowstorm, there's an extra sense of urgency to have materials this winter.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — No matter what time of year it is, homeless shelters could always use extra help.

At the Little Rock Compassion Center, they've already seen an uptick in the number of people looking for help.

With temperatures expected to drop soon, they're getting ready to see that number increase too.

For Pastor William Holloway, CEO of the Little Rock Compassion Center, he knows the signs of homelessness in his area.

"We try and help a person while they're here, but we're always looking for another place to send them on to," Holloway said. "So if it wasn't for our community caring and people helping, we could not do the work here that God has called us to do."

Holloway knows that this time of the year isn't easy for someone experiencing homelessness. He said there's plenty of people in his area who need help.

"If you take a neighborhood the size of our neighborhood, let's say our neighborhood is four, five, six, 7,000," he said. "Then you've got four, five, 600 people around here that's either needing help or is homeless."

After what the state saw this past February, shelters are exercising more urgency this year. 

There's no guarantee we'll see anything as bad as that, but it's still something that Holloway is mindful of.

"If we have another one like we did last February, we might be snowed in for a couple days and it might make it very difficult to have enough food here for everyone," he said.

But, there are ways to avoid those issues – and it starts with donations.

"Hats and gloves is a very big issue. Dry socks is another big issue for us," he said. "We're always looking for those three items quite often."

Winter necessities, such as these, top the list for Holloway. 

He finds it extremely important to have it available for those who don't have the means to warm themselves up.

But, those aren't the only things that the shelter needs-- materials like canned food are needed to keep people fed.

Another important part of the shelters, are the volunteers needed to help those in need. 

Holloway said the Compassion Center – and any other shelter – can't run without people helping.

"All the shelters are looking for the same things," Holloway said. "It's not competition amongst us because we all have the same common goal in mind-- to help that person get back on their feet."

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