Finley Park is often filled with many homeless people such as this man trying to rest on a bench.
The Oliver Gospel Mission stocks their cold donations to give out to the needy.
By Shana Bethea
The worst thing about fall is cold and flu season for most people. Many fight back with their annual flu shots and over the counter medication.
But what about those aren't able to make those preparations? There are upwards of 1500 homeless people in the city of Columbia. According to the South Carolina Coalition for the Homeless Columbia has the largest number in the state for displaced people.
"I would definitely get the flu shot if only I had the money." laughed one homeless man walking through Finley Park.
The average flu shot can cost $30 without insurance, a high price to pay for someone who does not have home let alone insurance.
The Oliver Gospel Mission has been helping Columbia's homeless for over 125 years
Oliver gets many donations of tissue, hand sanitizer and cold medicine that help the homeless battle cold and flu season. They also work with the free clinic and offer a shuttle to transfer people there to get their flu shots.
The Mission staff believes that keeping people healthy in general will help them from getting sick.
"Our kitchen staff provides vitamin C during morning meal, afternoon meal, and the night meal throughout the year for anyone that wants it." said worker Will Fredrick.
The Mission also holds various collection drives, some just for cold medicines. Their next drive will be for Thanksgiving dinner. You can contact the Oliver Gospel Mission volunteer web page to help collect or donate a turkey or two.