A record amount of homeless children are staying at Columbiaâ??s Salvation Army Harbor House shelter as we experience subzero wind chills.
Mitchell Isler brought his daughter Hannah to the Harbor House a week ago after he lost his job. They share their own room. Hannah is one of 16 homeless children staying at the shelter right now.
Isler said, â??She loves it here. The atmosphere is very high. They have a very good spirit here. She gets to go to church. They look after the kids pretty good.â??
The Harbor House not only helps keep homeless families warm, it helps them stay together. It is the only shelter in Columbia that accommodates parents with children. When rooms are full, homeless children sleep on emergency cots. Families can stay at the shelter for up to 2 years as long as parents look for jobs and the children go to school.
Salvation Army spokeswoman Cyndy Chapman said, â??Children are the innocent victims in a situation like this. Theyâ??ve never made a wrong decision or a wrong turn in life. We are so happy to accommodate them.â??
Isler canâ??t imagine his daughter sleeping outside and predicts Hannah will not be homeless for much longer.
Isler said, â??Iâ??m going to get me a job and get back on my feet. Iâ??ve done it before and I can keep going.â??
Many area shelters are in desperate need of gloves, hats and other warm clothing.
Contact your local homeless shelter operator to see how you can help.