Anniston’s homeless population can get free jackets, toboggans and more during a clothing distribution Dec. 15.

The distribution will be held in front of the Anniston Soup Bowl, 301 W. 15th St., from noon until supplies run out. Alabama Connect AAU, a group of four Anniston-based basketball teams for high school-age teens, will host the event. The Papa John’s location on Snow Street is donating 15 pizzas to be served for free during the event.

Alabama Connect director Kevin Hall said he’s often confronted with the needs of homeless people in Anniston and Oxford. Parents and players have already started donating clothes, and one of his coaches has a garage full of garments ready to go. He said that members of the public are welcome to bring donations to the event.

“We’re taking anything and everything,” Hall said. “We want to help the ones who are unfortunate, with the holidays coming up.”

The Right Place director Valerie Mason interacts with Anniston’s homeless population every day through the organization’s outreach work, and she said that there’s always demand for more clothing.

“People come in all the time asking for coats and gloves and toboggans,” she said. “I think about that every time I drive home to my warm house and my warm bed, about the people I’ve seen during the day.”

The Right Place is a small organization, Mason explained, and it doesn’t have the resources to keep a stock of clothes to give away. When funding allows, Right Place workers give out warm clothes, sleeping bags, gloves and coats, but those items aren’t a guarantee, she explained.

“We do try to keep coats here to deal with the immediate demand of not freezing,” she said.

The best items people can bring are warm items: jackets, shoes, blankets, gloves and toboggans, “so the ones on the street can be warmer at night,” Hall explained.

Assistant Metro Editor Ben Nunnally: 256-235-3560. 

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