FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Members of the organization ‘Tie One On Florence’ are upset after the City of Florence said it can no longer hang clothes from trees.
The organization collects donated clothing items for the homeless, and places those items around the downtown area for people in need.
“The whole goal of this is to reach the homeless population that won’t, for whatever reason, go to shelters,” said Tie One On Florence’s Sam Rogers. “Some aren’t allowed, pride gets in the way sometimes, and for various reasons.”
Rogers said the organization has hung clothes in the downtown area, and around Timrod Park for five years.
“They don’t understand what we do, and why we do it,” Rogers said about about the City of Florence. “After the conversations I had with city leaders I felt that, not only was the city not backing us, they were doubting us.”
The City of Florence released this statement:
“We requested that the Tie One On program, instead of draping clothing and scarves over the fences and trees located within the center of town, coordinate their gifting of clothing through the many non-profit organizations that the City organizes and works with through the Mayor’s Coalition. We also stated that we would facilitate the gifting of clothing through our neighborhood centers and other recreation facilities. Through the Mayor’s Coalition, we have many contacts that disburse and work directly with those in need. It would be our opinion that through these channels that we could touch many more people in need than by simply placing clothing and scarves on trees within the downtown core. The City is a strong supporter of all these organizations and does much to facilitate the needs of the homeless. We even offered to give him the location where a number of homeless reside (not in shelters) so that they could ensure that the homeless received the clothing. It appeared to us that they were not interested in that information. I would recommend that you speak with Brian of the House of Hope of the many ways the City facilitate this need.
Although, we certainly understand, appreciate and respect their interest, draping clothing on the downtown streets is not appropriate and the clothing is subject to becoming wet, windblown, and discarded.”
“It could change a whole life with just a scarf or hat or glove,” Rogers said about putting clothes around town. “Something that makes them feel human again.”
Rogers said the organization already partners with local nonprofit organizations, but said it is more effective to tie the clothes on the trees.
“We’re not going to slow down,” said Rogers. “We’re going to continue to collect, [and] we’re going to continue to distribute one way or another,” he continued. “Part of the reason for Tie One On Florence, and hanging things in public, is so if they need it and they walk by and see it, it’s there for them.”
Rogers said Florence businesses, like Local Motive, will have donation boxes for people to drop off clothing items.
Rogers can be contacted for donations at Samspread@yahoo.com