Help available for homeless people in Augusta

Help available for homeless people in Augusta

A 49-year-old homeless man was found dead in a canal under the Calhoun Expressway overpass Sunday afternoon - a place only walking distance from the Salvation Army.

Michael Sterns had been living under a bridge near the canal, according to the Richmond County Coroner's Office.

Director of Development for the Salvation Army John Sebby says instances like this are always sad to hear.

"It saddens our heart," he says.

Sebby says Sterns had visited the shelter before and also says the homeless population in Augusta is a major issue.

"It's of course a very serious problem. There's a lot of people that are homeless we see everyday," he says.

And part of the problem is that people often feel embarrassed to go to a shelter for support.

"A lot of people just feel so overwhelmed that coming to a homeless shelter seems like the last straw," Sebby says.

But those that get help often turn their lives back around thanks to places like the Salvation Army.

"We don't just provide three hots and a cot. We want to provide them with job skills and resources and training and permanent housing. That's our goal for them," Sebby explains.

Shelters want people to realize this isn't a temporary fix, this is a lifestyle change.

"We want to care for them, we want to help them. Not just a handout but we want to help them up," he says.

Sebby says there is hope for the homeless population.

"When you're homeless, you don't need to live in your car. You don't need to live in a box or under a bridge. There's hope out there there's help out there," Sebby says.

And Sebby encourages everyone that knows or sees someone that is homeless to take them to a shelter so they can start receiving help."

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