PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) – Every week, you can find Travis Fritz at Amy’s House of Hope in Princeton. He volunteers there with the non-profit group, Warm a Heart, Give a Bed, serving hot meals to people struggling to find their next meal.
Fritz knows what it is like. Just a few months ago, he was sitting outside, waiting for those doors to open.
“There was plenty of times where I thought I lost hope, that I was never gonna get out of the hole I dug myself into,” Fritz recalled.
Fritz moved from Texas to West Virginia, and was coping with the loss of his father. Twice, for six month periods at a time, he found himself living on the streets and did not know where to go for help.
“Throughout the daytime I would walk around and go into jobs…see if I can put in an application or if they were hiring,” Fritz said. “Night time it was completely the opposite…I would try to find shelter in places that blocked wind.”
That led him to the Princeton Railroad Museum.
“I used to sleep down here (between outdoor furnaces) and I would stay as far back as I could, so I wouldn’t have to wake up early because there was lots of morning traffic,” Fritz pointed out.
Fred Kinder, who is the founder of Warm a Heart, Give a Bed, learned about Fritz’ living conditions and wanted to help.
“I asked him what he was doing and he told me he was waiting on us to open up and that he was hungry, and then we went into talking and he told me he was sleeping outside,” Kinder said.
Kinder, along with volunteers at Amy’s House of Hope, gave Fritz sleeping bags and warm clothes. However, they wanted to do more and give Fritz something he never had to himself: a home.
That became possible with the help of CASE worker, Jennifer Williams.
“There’s no words to say what it’s like to see him in a warm place and not out on the streets,” Kinder added.
Today, Fritz has his own apartment with a TV and fridge stocked with food.
He even has a job.
Fritz said all of this is possible thanks to a little house, giving hope.
“Volunteering at Amy’s House has really helped me give back from where it all started,” Fritz stressed. “Without them I wouldn’t be here.”
To learn more about the Warm a Heart, Give a Bed organization and Amy’s House of Hope, visit their website here.