CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As the holidays get closer, the Men's Shelter of Charlotte is looking for some key items to get through the colder months.

They say this time of year is often the roughest for clients. They're always looking for volunteers and monetary donations.

They also say they're most in need of basics like coats, socks, underwear and toiletry items. Shelter Executive Director Carson Dean says they see a small uptick in men because of the chillier temperatures.

He also says illness becomes an issue as we head into winter because men are more susceptible to colds and the flu.

The organization needs the help more than ever. According to Dean, more than half the men at the shelter used to be employed, he says the slow economy means many have trouble finding a job.

He also says the many stereotypes of homeless men, simply don't ring true.

I think people thing of homeless men as completely by themselves, but they are all brothers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers. And a lot of guys that we serve are trying to get their lives back together, so that they can take care of their children. That's their ultimate responsibility, said Dean.

John Thomas has been a client of the shelter for a more than a year. He says the holidays are tough in the shelter.

'When you see other families out gathering, doing things, family oriented things, and then you put yourself in the position of where you at now, it can be kind of hard, because you want to be with them, but you're not in a position to be with them. Sometimes you be ashamed of where you are, where you're at in life, said Thomas.

He was injured on the job and has been looking for employment ever since. He's hopeful, with the help of the shelter, he'll be able to find work soon.

Thomas says donations from Charlotte residents makes his stay at the shelter possible.

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