You’ll see it on TV – volunteers feeding turkey dinners to the homeless at Thanksgiving, then somebody dressed as Santa Claus giving presents to the homeless at Christmas.

But people who are homeless are in need more than two days a year, says Rev. Jerry Doss, whose Abundant Faith Ministries is a provider of services to the homeless in Springfield.

“We need to make sure the homeless are provided for,” he says. “We have a number of calls each week that they have needs, from food to clothing; (or) just to help get through social issues” such as depression, which is not necessarily visible.

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As many of us are a paycheck away from trouble, Doss sees some homeless people who were doing better not long ago. “Those individuals are more covert; they don’t want to talk about it.” Doss says. “If you’re down and out, most of the time you don’t mind saying, ‘Hey, I need some help.’”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says more than 15,000 Illinoisans are homeless.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/