​FC Arts Guild Makes Sleep Mats for the Homeless

Something most of us probably never think about is how uncomfortable it can be for people forced to sleep outdoors. Bedding materials get wet, and people get wet and cold. In the summer, pavement gets hot. These conditions can be dangerous for people who already struggle and may have health problems as well.

A dedicated group of ladies in the Belvidere Family & Community Education (FCE) group that meets at the Extension Office on Joyce Street in Winchester started this project in their monthly meeting. They have been crocheting mats that can be used by anyone who sleeps outdoors. The mats are easy to make, lightweight and waterproof, and provide cushioning as well.

Joyce Adams and Pat Underwood expanded the efforts and refined the process. They took this on as a weekly project and started an ongoing workshop to create more mats.

This past Friday at the reception for the “Selves” art show, seven mats were given to Pastor Marion Pope of the Journey Church in Winchester. Others will be distributed to a homeless mission in Nashville by Harmony Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Winchester. Each mat comes with a prayer and a piece of artwork done as a community project at the gallery.

Those interested in participating can come to Art Wednesday at the Artisan Depot Gallery in Cowan, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome. You can donate your plastic bags. They must be clean and dry. It takes 100 bags to make a mat.

For more information about the project, call (931) 962-0280 or visit www.franklincoarts.org.