CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - As temperatures dip, one woman in a west Charlotte neighborhood heard the forecast, and instead of worrying about herself, embarked on a door-to-door effort to collect coats from strangers.
“All the stuff that’s in our closets that we take for granted, people could really use,” Amber Hoff says.
Hoff usually goes door-to-door collecting used coats for the homeless around this time. But this year, the cold and rainy weather but a damper on the plan.
“So, I’m going to people’s door instead of door-to-door to pick up stuff,” she says.
It’s weather like this that increases her concern for homeless neighbors - and weather like this, that’s prompted her posts to social media, asking strangers for their help.
“Today, everybody can be not-so empathetic,” she says. “We like to show that humans still care.”
This winter, there will be more people homeless in Charlotte than last. A 2018 count in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability and Homelessness Report shows 13 percent more – the first increase in the annual count since 2011.
“I think they’re forgotten a lot by, everybody,” Hoff says. “Even though they’re people’s mothers and brothers.”
It’s hundreds of families, but Hoff says for many Charlotteans, they are out of sight, and out of mind.
“Just, if you don’t think about it then it doesn’t really bother you,” she says.
It’s why she’ll continue her collection, in a hope to help even a fraction of those who need it.
“They’re real people,” she says. “They have feelings and a lot of people look at them as less so it means a lot to have people care.”
Hoff will distribute the coats when she helps feed the homeless community at an event hosted by the private group called Donate Yourself on Thursday.
She is collecting until Thursday afternoon. Those with interest should contact Hoffamber@yahoo.com.