Rediscover Louisa Volunteer’s clean up project was put into action Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. One of the volunteer’s said, “Mayor Harold Slone asked them to come do a controlled fire by the river to get rid of what people had left behind”.
Slone and a committee from the city recently looked around and contacted other cities about Homeless centers and reported back that Louisa does not have a homeless problem
Some of the homeless people in the community felt it was wrong since some of their belongings were down there behind Riverview Pharmacy on the river bank. So, they decided to come out of the shadows and speak out about being homeless in Louisa.
Joseph Billingsley originally from up north where he was making his way south when he found himself in Louisa. Joseph said,” I’m still thinking of traveling south toward Austin, TX Ministries but many people here have restored my faith in humanity through thru kindness and generosity.” Joseph with the help of Judge Executive, Phil Carter was able to do side jobs to pay for his stay at the local motel for at least a night.
Joseph became homeless over 12 years ago when he was in a car wreck and had to go on disability. He eventually lost his home along with his family and turned to drugs which led him to prison and when released had no where to go and he started bouncing from town to town.
Brandy and Jason Hale who have been homeless for over a year have stayed in various places throughout town such as both parks, behind the stage, down by the river and
abandoned barns. Some of their belongings were part of what was burnt by the Rediscover Louisa volunteers. They also look for daily work to try and provide food and shelter. Brandy wanted to thank Julie Patel and Giovanni’s for always helping and being there. And with a smile on her face said, “We will get back on our feet.”
During the cold nights they were able to utilize the warming stations at First Baptist Church and go in get warm and something to eat before heading back out into the weather. She said they have tried to get assistance locally but has had no luck other than the generosity of others.
By putting themselves out there doing interviews and allowing pictures they all hope to bring awareness to this problem. There are even more homeless families in the area all throughout the county. It may not seem like a big problem but it’s a problem they hope gets addressed soon, but not likely with the decision to not build a shelter in Louisa.