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CIRCLEVILLE

Hansel Stapleton, owner, and operator of New Hope Christian Outreach Charities helps the homeless veterans in our area.  Stapleton has a soft spot for the homeless, telling them, “I was homeless myself, I can do it so can you.” Stapleton also commented, “I didn’t want people to know I was homeless.”

Stapleton claimed he would collect tin cans for money; he used truck stop showers and tried to be “normal.” Hansel told me he didn’t always have a soft spot for the homeless. He said, “When I pulled up to a stop sign, I ignored the guy with signs, turned my head, and ignored them.” He explained that after his experience he realizes there are lots of people out there that are a paycheck away from being homeless, that it could happen to a lot of people.

Stapleton started with his small truck, and it was a challenge to supply everyone with what they needed. Organization was difficult. He then had an idea: a rolling supply store. He says it’s a lot like Wal-Mart but doesn’t have a cash register. He travels in about a 25-mile radius, from Columbus to Washington Courthouse, to serve those in need. Finding the homeless is difficult. He uses word of mouth from other homeless and local police. Stapleton services around 120 people. When they go out they also make meals and feed them, but the homeless they help are mostly looking for supplies.

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Lots of donations come from Rural King in Circleville, as they have worked with Stapleton and given him space to set up bake sales and donation boxes. Cargill and South Central Power have also given donations. “It’s not just about feeding them, I have several recovering addict,” Stapleton explained. He gives out resource packets so homeless know where to go to get free meals, veteran help, and services. “Toilet paper is huge; so is Sterno for cooking and heat.”

Hansel can’t take all the credit. The ministry started out in the hands of Harold Cook, Pastor of The New Hope Christian Church. When Hansel was homeless he found the church, and Pastor Cook took him in. Hansel worked for the church, in return, they helped him back on his feet. Pastor Cook became even closer to him when Hansel married his daughter. Hansel took over as director when his father-in-law stepped down. The church disbanded, but the outreach lives on through this charity.

New Hope is looking for volunteers, donations, and more people to serve the outreach. Email him at Newhope039@gmail.com or call him at 740-207-9019. Feel free to contact if you are interested in this outreach.

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