AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Every Saturday morning you can find the CSRA Bridge Ministry underneath the Calhoun Expressway. Their mission is to serve the needs of the local community and they’re doing so by providing a hot meal and a warm coat to the homeless. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stated that homelessness is on the decline in Georgia. Roger Gardner, Pastor of the Bridge Ministry says while that may be true, the resources needed to help the homeless is still great.
“Believe it or not there are homeless people on the street that have just lost their jobs. They have come to the point where they are tired of working maybe two or three jobs trying to survive and they just give up. They may have also been kicked out of their homes.” Gardner says.
In addition to food and shelter, he says women and children who have left their homes due to abuse is also a need they are trying to meet.
“One of the greatest needs that I see in Augusta, Georgia is the need for shelters for women. I don’t know how many times that we’ve had to put a single parent mom and her children in a hotel.” Gardner told NewsChannel 6.
Georgia state lawmakers have suggested recommendations that they feel will help address the needs of the homeless population such as help with substance abuse and mental health. However Gardner says after working in the ministry for the past ten years drug abuse isn’t the issue.
“There is a percentage of substance abuse, there just is because it’s throughout our entire society. It’s not just limited to the homeless. You can look at any class of people and find abuse.” Gardner explains.
In order to continue their mission, they are in need of the community’s help and support with time and donations.
“We need volunteers throughout the week, we need volunteers in our warehouse and to help us cook and separate clothing. Of course the key to any ministry or any outreach is that we need financial support. We’re thankful for what we get and what we have but we really want to do more.” Gardner says.
To Bridge ministry hold a worship service every Saturday at 11:30 am underneath the Calhoun Expressway. They are also currently collecting toys for homeless children for Christmas. To learn more about their ministry or to make a donation visit http://www.bridgeministryCSRA.org