Bethesda Mobile Mission in Harrisburg helping homeless stay warm

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Bethesda Mission in Harrisburg is on a mission to help the homeless. Volunteers are going out in the cold to give to people in need.

They said in the winter fewer homeless people come out to get food and warm clothes.

The coordinator, Karl Beardsley, has been with the mission for 20 years.

Beardsley said, "I love doing it. I've been doing this since '96, and you get to know the people after a while and build a rapport with them. You're always meeting new people out there."

Bethesda Mission makes a couple stops in Harrisburg every Friday and Saturday night, and homeless people flock to the vans.

"They're usually living under bridges, or tents out in the woods, or just on sidewalks, different places around the city," Beardsley said.

This time of year can be especially taxing on the homeless, with the bitter cold weather and wind.

Cheryl Mishler, a volunteer, said, "My heart Goes out to the people here on the streets of Harrisburg. And it's a great thing to come down, talk to the guys and women that come out and just be there for them. So, it's an awesome thing."

Dozens of people from the community came up to get blankets, hot cups of coffee and food.

David Klein, from Harrisburg, said, "A lot of these guys are really homeless, but you know I'm thankful for it, I'm doing better than that."

He has been working part-time in the city, and although he has a place to rest his head at night, he is grateful for what the mission offers.

"Things are tough right now," Klein said, "So it's nice to grab a sandwich. But I live alone, and I work alone, so it's like a nice way - just a little bit of fellowship you know? My kind of church."

But volunteers said it's not about receiving thanks for what they do, it's about doing the right thing.

"They need it. So that's why we should be here. We shouldn't think of them trying to be out here - we should be out here looking at them, not them looking for us," Mishler said.

To donate to the mission or volunteer, head to their website, bethesdamission.org