The bitter winter and heavy snowfall in the Mid-Atlantic has left many locals literally out in the cold. But, a Chesterfield, VA man has taken it upon himself to provide homeless people with not only temporary relief from the brutal weather but also the kind of support and hope they need to make a difference in their lives.
When record-breaking amounts of snow dumped onto much of Virginia in January (continuing into February as well), it buried a tent set up in the woods of Chesterfield that provides the only shelter one man has.
“Unfortunately, the world’s made them think that that’s the only spot that they have,” said nearby resident Chris Lane.
Lane and his wife weathered the storm to make sure this homeless man and dozens of others made it through the life-threatening conditions delivering food, coffee, blankets, and even offering to put them up in motels.
“Really the world’s forgotten about them, and they just need someone to say, ‘Hey you matter too,’,” said Lane.
It’s something Lane’s been reminding Arnold Clarke, who’s been surviving with only a tarp and some blankets for about a year.
“Since I’ve been out here, everybody in the community’s been nice to me, coming through here and checking on me,” said Clarke.
Lane’s made it his mission to help the homeless since his 18-year-old son was killed in a shooting nearly one year ago.
“After we lost him, it was really on my heart to focus our efforts and really do something special,” said Lane.
Lane is now expanding his efforts, taking an old Bible college sitting on a $2 million, 39-acre property in Chester and turning it into what he calls an outreach center.
“No agendas; just everybody loving each other and really doing what our Founding Fathers established this country for in the first place,” said Lane.
Complete with a dining hall, beds, and plans for greenhouses to grow their own food, Lane hopes to turn his regular check-ups on the homeless into a more permanent solution.
“That’s what it is, making opportunities, removing road blocks for a win-win situation for everybody,” said Lane.
Lane says it will take months to complete all the renovations for the outreach center, but he plans to have the dining hall up and running by the end of February.
See the full story at: http://www.nbc12.com/story/31220859/local-mans-mission-to-help-the-homeless