FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — A Fairmont-based assistance program is helping more people now than ever before.

Friendship Fairmont leaders were at the Marion County Commission meeting on Wednesday to give an update on their services to the county.

The mental health and substance abuse drop-in center offers help to anyone in need by connecting them to resources to get their life back on track.  

Friendship Fairmont Program Director Chuck VanKirk said since the group moved to its bigger location on Locust Avenue in Fairmont, the amount of people it helps has doubled.

“I didn’t know how many people needed help until I started working down there,” VanKirk said. “We average between 20 to 40 people per day down there, and everybody needs a little something whether it’s something to eat, a snack bag, clothes, shoes. I mean it’s just there’s a big need for it.”

Friendship Fairmont (WBOY Image)

The program partners with several organizations such as the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness and Connecting Link to help anyone who comes through their door.

“We try to help people get their life back on track,” VanKirck said.

All the staff members at Friendship Fairmont are in recovery themselves. Vankirck said that builds a connection and allows clients to trust them.

“I don’t know how to paint, so I couldn’t tell a painter how to paint. I couldn’t tell a mechanic how to change a motor, but I can tell you through my struggles, what I’ve went through, how to get help, how to start your life back and get back on track with recovery,” he said.

Vankirck said the program itself is doing extremely well. They are asking for donations of summer clothing for their clients including:

  • Men’s Jeans/Shorts size 32-38 
  • Men’s Shirts size M-2XL 
  • Men’s Shoes sizes 8-13 
  • Women’s Jeans/Shorts size 4-24 
  • Women’s Shirts size S-4XL 
  • Women’s Shoes size 6-11  

It also needs travel-size shampoo and conditioner, body wash, toothpaste and toothbrushes and razors 

All donations can be dropped off at their location at 10 Locust Ave. Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.