NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton Roads is about to face some of the coldest air of the year, and unfortunately there will be a lot of people with nowhere to go because they are homeless.
An Eastern Virginia Medical School police officer has been doing what he can on his own for years but with this bitter blast coming, he’s looking for some help.
Every day Lt. Jack Munley patrols the campus of EVMS, and every day he’s at work he sees people in need.
“A few bad decisions in my life or something else that I chose to do, I might be in that situation,” said Munley. “And I would hope somebody would spend that time to help me.”
While many of us, rushing through our work day, may turn a blind eye or pretend we don’t hear a plea for help, Munley does what deep down we all know we should do too.
“I can’t look away. I just cannot look away. When I see somebody who comes up to me and asks for boots or asks me for gloves or hats, how do you say no?”
Munley’s giving goes back years. One Christmas he was working, he handed out coffee to the homeless and it snowballed from there.
“Sometimes if I go out to lunch and I see homeless in the street I’ll invite them to have lunch,” he says. He also spends time visiting local food marts to look for sandwiches that have reached their “sell-by” dates. He asks if he can give them away, and sometimes store managers agree.
“Anyway I can, just to help out. For that one person makes a big difference,” he says.
This winter the needs of the people he’s met has grown longer.
“A gentleman was wearing socks on his hands and he was very, very cold. I didn’t have gloves to give him. I didn’t have boots to give him,” Munley explained. He tried to keep his giving a quiet gesture. Munley never wanted attention or thanks for his good deeds. But this winter, people needed more than he could give, so he started making a list of each person and their specific need. But the needs add up.
“When they asked for the stuff I didn’t have, I wanted to help. I wanted to go up to the store and immediately buy and hand out but I didn’t have the means to do that,” Munley added “It’s difficult. Their back stories are all unique. How they go to the place where they are is unique, especially to them. Some have mental health issues, maybe a lot of them do. Some are maybe just down on their luck and in a bad place in their life. I would love to offer every one of them help.”
So Munley swallowed his own pride and asked for help himself through a GoFundMe page. He’s taking monetary donations so he can buy specific items. He hopes to raise enough to buy and hand out everything before the bitter cold weekend ahead.
“When a person comes up and says thank you, and you give to someone who has no means to give back that’s really truly giving.”
If you’d like to donate to Lt. Munley’s cause, you can find information here.