KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As the Knoxville homeless population has increased, it has put a strain on a local nonprofit. The Knox Area Rescue Ministries are in need of items as more people come to them for assistance.

“As summer comes into full swing here at Knox Area Rescue Ministries, we’re finding that we are having more folks in our dorms in the evening,” Deborah Nichols, the nonprofit’s director of programs said.

This discovery comes as Knoxville’s homeless population has seen a 50 percent increase in the last year. 

“Usually in the summer we have a lower number (of people),” Nichols said. “We’re finding we have 85-97 percent capacity in both men’s and women’s dorms.”

As those at KARM are happy to welcome newcomers in need, they are feeling the effects of the growth in the homeless population and are now asking for many items.

“We have the need for body wash, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, anything that you would have in your home that is for general hygiene,” Nichols said.

It’s those items and others that help those who come to KARM, like Michele.

“Everything just means so much to me and it has given me a support system,” Michele said

“When our folks come in for the evening and they’re getting ready for their showers, it’s just an important time to offer these supplies,” Nichols said. “There’s just a dignity in having good items, and so it just makes one rest well, and when one can rest well, the next morning is much easier.” 

KARM has shared a list of items that are needed. Anyone willing to donate can drop off donations at 418 North Broadway. They accept donations every day from 9-5. Donations also can be shipped to their office.