Wiregrass non-profit brings awareness to community need

The Harbor in Dothan wants to ensure everyone that they are not alone in their time of need.
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 7:54 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Many struggle to provide for their families during the holiday season.

The Harbor in Dothan wants to ensure everyone that they are not alone in their time of need.

Executive Director Kody Kirchhoff said the homeless aren’t the only people who need help.

“Predominately, well over 90 percent of who we serve is going to be people that are in a season of poverty,” he explained.

Kirchhoff believes Dothan has a poverty problem.

“City data 2019, we’re at 20.3 percent poverty in Dothan. That’s way above the national average,” Kirchhoff claimed.

A concerning number that comes to light every year during the holiday season.

“The number one thing that people struggle with is shame,” Kirchhoff said. “Well, the holidays produce a lot of that if you can’t provide in the way that you would love to.”

Between economic hardships and staggering inflation, the holidays can leave many feeling hopeless.

“The holidays just heighten it because it’s extra expenses. It’s extra feelings and emotions of ‘this is what I want to provide, this is what I want to be able to do.’”

The Harbor offers those in need a safe space, helping people get back on track through their ministries.

“That’s our hope,” Kirchhoff said. “That people always get to a place of sustainability and never look back. What we try to do, through the love of Jesus, is create opportunities that people can know in this season they’re loved.”

A contagious act of love that, often times, comes full circle.

“We’ve seen those incredible God success stories all the time. I just can’t do it this year. I need help, I need assistance. I’m struggling with utility bills, I’m struggling with this. Then next year they come back and they make a donation, or they sit there and say ‘hey, I want to bless kids with gifts this year because I can’,” Kirchhoff told News 4.

Success stories that Kirchhoff hopes will, one day, turn into a Christmas miracle.

“The end goal is The Harbor doesn’t exist here in Dothan, Alabama. The end goal is The Harbor is not needed. The end goal is churches and businesses and this community and schools, they’ve got it. You know, the end goal is The Harbor doesn’t need this property.”

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