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Residents get help ahead of move-out date

WEST FRANKFORT (WSIL) — As the day nears for residents to vacate the apartment building at 101 W. Main St. in West Frankfort, community members are taking action.

Connie Howard spent part of her Monday putting up Christmas decorations around the city. She’s also lending a hand to those in need, creating care packages with necessities like shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste.

"This is what we’re supposed to do," Howard said. "These are the ‘least of these.’ I feel so blessed each day that I can get up and go."

Howard is the coordinator for the outreach program at Trinity United Methodist Church and has lived in West Frankfort for 40 years. She’s working with Crosswalk Community Action Agency to help residents find a place to live.

"We will be putting them in a hotel for one night, Wednesday night," Howard said. "They should be able to be placed in their homes on Thursday."

Howard and Crosswalk hosted a meeting Monday where residents from the building filled out applications to start the process of finding a new home.

Heather Prince has worked with Crosswalk for two years and says the group helps the homeless using federal grants.

"We pay for the first month’s rent and the deposit, and if you have a utility bill we can help with that also," Prince said

Almost all 11 residents from the building attended Monday’s meeting, including Don Childeres, who will be moving out of the building for the third time.

He’s confident about the community’s efforts to help but is also being cautious.

"I’m old enough to know not to depend on people. I depend on Jesus," Childeres said. "I’m hoping that everything comes out okay."

Those residents have until Wednesday to move out of the building.

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