DUNWOODY, Ga. - It started when some Dunwoody Police Officers spotted three young homeless people in trouble on the streets of Dunwoody.
“They were obviously cold, shivering and they basically said 'look we’re homeless, we’re just looking for a safe place to stay, and we’re just trying to stay out of trouble,'” said Lt. Fidel Espinoza with the Dunwoody Police Department.
Espinoza said the department posted the trio’s plight on social media. In response, much of the day and into the night Tuesday, people brought clothes and supplies to the Dunwoody Police Department.
Kenny Lee said his bosses at the Doraville clothing store Access Apparel agreed to help wholeheartedly.
“They were more than fine, you know with donating, helping a community, helping a cause. So when he gave me the green light we gathered everything that we could,” said Lee.
Inside the department, the night shift sifted through donations before getting into their squad cars to hit the streets for duty.
The charity began after some of them came across the two men and a woman in their early 20’s during the last couple of nights. One of the young men said he wanted to get back to Biloxi, Mississippi where his grandfather is gravely ill.
“The guys, we made up a small collection and we bought him a greyhound ticket and he'll be leaving on Thursday,” said Lt. Espinoza.
The generosity by police and people was a spontaneous reaction to what was happening on the streets with the homeless young people, but also helped address what’s been happening with police nationwide.
“Now a days, sometimes we get a bad reputation and we want to show everyone in the community that we care, we’re there for the citizens,” said Officer Zach Woodburn.
The officers involved said it was an easy decision to help the homeless young people, which was outside their regular duties of answering 911 calls and responding to crime.
“They can count on us not only to help them in an emergency but also in a time of need,” said Officer Woodburn.
“This is our community, we live here together, we might as well be here for each other,” said Dunwoody resident Kenny Lee.
Dunwoody Police said thanks to the generosity of the public they had surplus clothing and supplies which will be donated to charity.
The department will also be working to try to steer the remaining young people toward social services to help them get off the streets.