Hometown Hero: The Hearts of Compassion Clothes Closet

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:50 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A service that grew out of a need recognized at the height of the pandemic continues to help the homeless on Savannah’s Southside.

Around the time when most people were feeling isolated, Trinity Lutheran Church started inviting the community in.

“We saw more people coming to us.”

And what they were going to the Southside Savannah church for were necessities - food, clothing and personal items - and still are at the church’s Heart of Compassion clothes closet that started during the pandemic but continues to meet the needs of the homeless on the Southside.

“We probably have a core group of maybe 30 that we see on a regular basis and then we’ll have lot of newcomers that they bring to us,” Karen Hanovich said.

“I love their church, they’ve been treating us really good. They’re like our sisters and brothers,” Liane Carl said.

“The need is still there. They know that we are here, the community knows that we are here, the neighborhoods knows we are here. The neighborhood helps us out sometimes by donating some goods and helping out with their time and efforts,” Pator Jeffrey Webb said.

Hearts of Compassion grew out of a food pantry the church was operating prior to the pandemic. That has grown and volunteers still deliver meals to the homeless every Monday and Friday.

“On Monday, we do 30 bagged meals that are made by different people in our congregation or the community that help us out. And on Fridays, we do hot meals and deliver those to the individual camps. We know where they are and if they move, they tell us so they can get a a hot meal.

But the clothing closet is what brings people to the church - and what has allowed the homeless identify with the WTOC Hometown Heroes so willing to help them there.

“We know them. We know a little about their stories. They’re all different and they’re just people trying to get by.”

“We see it at least staying at this if not growing a little better. The need is definitely here. There is nothing else on the Southside like we are here.”

“It’s the right thing to do. It’s part of our church’s ministry and I really believe the outreach is so much needed right now.”

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