The Arnold House is a “Boots on the Ground” grassroots organization dedicated to raising awareness on the plight of homelessness and hunger in Southern Maryland. We partner with citizens, commercial businesses, public and private organizations to deliver meals and other basic necessities to those in need.
While volunteering at a local soup kitchen, we had the chance to get to know some of the guests and befriended a few of the homeless living in woods. After that first meeting we were invited to visit their home. From there, we made a commitment to deliver a hot meal out to the camp the following Sunday. It was that first meal delivery in September 2015 to the camp in the woods that the Arnold House came to be.
Since then, we have continued working to not only raise awareness to this unseen issue, but we have expanded how we help those in need. When one of the homeless camps was forced to move from the land they had occupied for over two years, we did a story to show just how difficult it is to move when you have nowhere to go. Moving Day, was the story that go the community to talking. From there we started monthly build-a-bag program, where volunteers come together to create goodie bags that help feed those on the streets.
To help feed the less fortunate children of the county, we partnered with Charles County Board of Education and a local school to revive the BackPack program. This program provides meals for the children during the weekend. As word spread of what we are doing, an outpouring from the community continues to help us grow. What started as feeding 15 people in a single homeless camp, has grown to providing over 120 meals to multiple camps and shelters. With our Backpack program, we began feeding 70 children from 20 families. Today that number has grown to over 400. During a winter blizzard, we partnered with a local entrepreneur to create Project Safe Haven, a project designed for move people from the woods and into a hotel room to weather the storm. In all over 20 rooms were provided and meals prepared for 90 people staying at the motel.
None of it would be possible without the support of the food donations, cash contributions, and volunteer support from people throughout the community. Today we continue assist those needing a place to stay and food to eat. We are asking all of our family and friends to please continue to help in this selfless endeavor. We are in need of non perishable foods and personal hygiene items. Monies donated is used to pay for motel rooms, buy supplies such as batteries, propane tanks, and tarps for use in the camps.