ArkLaTex man seeks to protect homeless from West Nile virus - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ArkLaTex man seeks to protect homeless from West Nile virus

Leonard Townshend is trying to help ArkLaTex homeless protect themselves from contracting the West Nile virus. Leonard Townshend is trying to help ArkLaTex homeless protect themselves from contracting the West Nile virus.
Leonard Townshend is trying to help ArkLaTex homeless protect themselves from contracting the West Nile virus. Leonard Townshend is trying to help ArkLaTex homeless protect themselves from contracting the West Nile virus.
Leonard Townshend is trying to help ArkLaTex homeless protect themselves from contracting the West Nile virus. Leonard Townshend is trying to help ArkLaTex homeless protect themselves from contracting the West Nile virus.

A local man has made it his mission to help protect the homeless from the West Nile Virus. 

During the summer the heat can be piercing and the mosquitoes unbearable, and even more so for people who have no other place to go. "I spoke with a guy that told me how bad the mosquitoes were,” says Leonard Townsend. 

With 29 reported cases of West Nile in the state so far this year, and a resident of Caddo Parish being the first reported death from the virus in 2014, Townsend hopes to help those that are sometimes forgotten when it comes to health and well-being. "It's always a concern to me to get these guys in and to get some type of protection.”

Townsend enjoys doing good for others, but his commitment to helping comes from a deeper place. He says he can relate to their plight. "At one point and time I went through the homeless stage and I know how it feels to be out here." Townsend is a veteran and makes frequent trips to homeless camps to try to help others get back on their feet. “I am a country boy, it's nothing to come down here I do it all the time, some of the guys they kind of know me anyway.”

He said the homeless deserve to be protected from the virus even if it's something as simple as giving them bug spray.

"My next thing is if I could try to help get some mosquito repellent out here, you know, I believe that would help them out a lot."

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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