DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - There's many important needs to meet in central Illinois. Some of them are within the Oasis Resource and Day Center in Decatur.

The center offers many services to the city's homeless and at-risk community.

"Many folks here won't want to be seen. They won't want their personal story to be told. Because, I think some days some of them, think they're going to wake up, and the nightmare will be over. Others are fighters," shared Oasis Resource and Day Center Director Jeff Mueller.

About 15 years ago, Mueller found himself homeless, in a situation similar to many who visit and use the drop-in center's services. Now, his goal is to provide hope to the hopeless.

"It doesn't happen on purpose. I don't think anyone intentionally makes a choice to be homeless, or to be addicted, or to have a mental illness," Mueller said. "Mental illness is probably 70% of what we serve. Everything from mild depression to schizophrenia and beyond."

Besides the mental support and other social services the Oasis provides and connects patrons with, the need for item donations is present all year.

"Anything that you would need when you open up your cabinet in the morning, doesn't mean they would need it any less," Mueller explained.

Right now, center officials said there's a great need for items like razors, shaving cream, socks, blankets, and more. 

“The other morning, I got up, trying to decide what socks I was gonna wear that matched my pants and my shoes. They're just happy to see socks without a hole in them. They don't even have to match," Mueller shared. "Socks are the number one item requested by people in homeless shelters, and it's the number one item that's given out the least."

Mueller said to those who utilize the center, these basic items mean the world. So as central Illinois heads into the season of giving, Mueller is calling on others to open their hearts and help.

"We need the community," Mueller said. "We need individuals who care, and have a passion about what we have a passion about."

Oasis is located at 243 West Cerro Gordo St. Donations can be dropped off any day of the week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To learn more about Oasis, click here.

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