Working on a Warming HEARTS Trend
by Cate Murway

Homelessness…. is there a cure?
The number of homeless in our country has hit an all-time high and a huge swath of Americans is still without housing, left behind by the faltering economic recovery and a shrinking social safety net.
It’s starting to be sweater weather now.
There are local areas where the homeless pitch tents and live outdoors in even the harshest weather conditions. Are you aware? Can you offer help?
Helping someone less fortunate than you is a most selfless act that can leave a tremendous impact on the life of another human being.
With nowhere to stay except the streets, people experiencing homelessness have a much higher risk than the general population of developing exposure-related conditions, a four to nine percent higher mortality rate, and many are truly crushed in spirit. What's more important than building cities? Building people! The increase in the demand for shelter beds each year is a strong indicator that homelessness is on the rise.  Please help those who are unable to help themselves.

The most productive way to get started helping the homeless is to join forces with a well-established operation, like the Warming Hearts Project located at 201 Mill Street in Bristol Borough and make your donations to a well-known, reputable organization in your community.
“Helping People In Need To Be Warm! Warm Both Inside and Out! Being Warm Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally!”

Joseph “Joe the Credit Pro” Nocito, leads the Warming Hearts Project and advocates promoting a friendship with those in need; talking to them with genuine interest, and recognizing their value as an individual that will give them a sense of dignity that they rarely experience.
“We have formatted more structure and more outreach with help.”
Volunteer, Melissa Lyn Cameron, is a caregiver for elderly citizens.
Joe’s nephew, Andrew Stephen “Drew” Nocito was looking for a tent and he asked his friend Melissa for help. “It was an eye opener to see that are people who have so much and still there are some who have nothing.”
Drew had “heard about it from my Uncle, but I wanted to get involved to give back.”
Former welder, Timothy Gerald “Tim” Fitzgerald currently a tow truck driver always wanted “to give back”. The Warming Hearts mission statement is “friends helping friends” and this is exactly what they have set out to do.
Pastor Gary Alloway and his crew from Redemption Church of Bristol along with a corps of students from Cairn University [formerly Philadelphia Biblical University] have been amazing contributors.

They meet every Sunday between 12:00-4:00 pm and some sort donations and some distribute the donations and clothing to the “tent cities”, focusing on the local area on Route 13 and to the one established off Maple Beach.

The Bristol based ‘Paula and Sam Karaoke DJ Company ‘, has been a huge help in collecting donations for the project.
Paula Jean Livingston previously worked in the deli department at Wal-Mart; and her husband, the lead singer of ‘One Tribe’, Samuel Lee Livingston labored as a tire service tech. They have been singing together for 20 years.
“We are joining forces with Warming Hearts Project, which helps local homeless that are resorted to living in tent cities in our area. We are asking everyone to bring tonight a toiletry, hygiene product, nonperishable food item, or gently used winter clothing as donation towards this amazing cause. In return for your donation you will you receive a raffle ticket to be entered into winning $25.00 CASH courtesy of Sparky’s generous owner!! Please bring any donations you can to help our friends in need!!”
Paula has offered to round up her musician friends and go to the tent city and provide them with a concert. “Some are veterans. It’s really sad.”
Over 60,000 veterans are found to be homeless nationwide.

During the week of November 2nd, the Warming Hearts group is hoping to collect adult sweatpants, jeans, shoes and boots in the 201 Mill Street location.
Their weekly project updates will be posted on their Warming Hearts Facebook page.

What is homelessness? Today the word brings about such negative connotations about the reasons for its presence in the lives of those we see.
Factors that contribute to homelessness may include having experienced a financial crisis due to loss of employment, or decision making processes impaired by extenuating circumstances, or a change in the family situation causing the disrupt or perhaps, a long-term illness. Sometimes it is a lack of affordable housing. The reasons are varied but the results are the same.
A person is considered homeless if he or she "lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and has a primary nighttime residency that is: (1) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, (2) an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or (3) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings."

Melissa’s wish is “mainly to get it out there. I had no idea there were so many homeless in this area.”
Tim shared what really bothered him, “mainly people can never even get a hot shower. We need to help.”
Drew offered, “I want to get them jobs and get them in homes.”
We can. We must. We will. But everyone needs to start somewhere.
It can be easy to forget that hunger is a daily reality for many people.  As we are preparing menus for family dinners, too many other families have to choose between buying food or being homeless and shivering in the dark.

Step up and sponsor a breakfast or lunch at a local eatery, perhaps The Bristol Stop, Carnival III Pizza, the Golden Eagle Diner or the local McDonalds.
Would you like to volunteer to help those in need?
If so, call today to see how you can make a difference.
Feel free to contact Joe at 267.217.3462 with any questions or to sponsor a meal. Warming Hearts volunteers are avidly looking for someone to sponsor a location for a Thanksgiving dinner.

Help get the word out! 
The Warming Hearts Project is always looking for additional volunteers and they are always accepting donations, but NOT cash donations. Currently, Joe and the volunteers are conducting a targeted clothing drive for men’s and women’s new, or gently used, warm winter clothing, blankets, gloves, scarves, jeans, uni-sex sweatshirts, hygiene items and backpacks.  There is always a shortage of men’s clothing and larger sizes. The accumulated items and non-perishable food collected will then be delivered to the homeless, or to local people in need.

How cool is this community in which we live? We can come together, across every socio-economic boundary, to unite and to make a difference.

Your Choice Financial Solutions
201 Mill Street
Bristol, PA 19007
9:00 AM- 7:00 PM Mon-Fri

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from left: Melissa, Joe's mother, Gail, Tim, Joe and his nephew, Drew