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Homeless Coalition to hold Hearts of Gold fundraiser Friday

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The Roswell Homeless Coalition will spread some holiday cheer and raise some much-needed money to keep the organization’s two shelters open at the second annual Hearts of Gold fundraiser.

The fundraiser will be at 2509 Cambridge Ave. — the home of Jesse McDaniel — Friday, Dec. 21 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Hot chocolate, hot apple cider and brownies will be available to guests with donations suggested, according to Jeneva Martinez, a coalition board member.

People will also have the chance to get their photos taken with Santa Claus and the Grinch, and to see McDaniel’s Christmas light show, which for many has become a staple of the Christmas experience in Roswell.

Money donated will go toward the operation and upkeep of the two homeless shelters managed by the coalition — one a men’s shelter on South Virginia Avenue and the other a shelter for women and children at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and East Bland Street.

She said that during last year’s Hearts of Gold, McDaniel pledged to donate $1,000 to the coalition if they could raise $1,000 that evening.

“So we asked the community to come out and purchase some of these items and if we could raise up to $1,000, he would match it,” Martinez said.

The fundraiser was a success, and provided the funding needed for the coalition to open the shelters and make the needed repairs to the facilities, she added.

McDaniel Home Solutions, Demaree Pumping Service and Christ’s Church this year have pledged to donate $2,000 each if the coalition can raise $2,000. Other businesses then jumped in, each pledging to raise $1,000 for the effort, Martinez said.

Both shelters together house 34 people and cost roughly $10,000 per month to operate, Martinez said.

She added that right now the coalition has about $45,000 left on-hand and needs the additional money to remain open.

Because the coalition does not receive funding from government — local, state or federal level — the shelters rely entirely on private donations.

“So it’s really important that we continue to fundraise to keep the doors open,” she said.

The Christmas season brings with it a surge in donations, which Martinez said helps the coalition stay afloat financially throughout the year.

Martinez said that the shelters provide much-needed relief for the homeless. She added that a survey conducted by the coalition in 2017 found that at least 150 people within the city lacked shelter.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.