HATTIESBURG, Miss – The Hattiesburg Police Department, Fieldhouse for the Homeless and a youth group from Macedonia Baptist Church worked together to clean up what many considered an eyesore.
We found out how a cleanup day can lead to a better life for the homeless,“We try to go out in our community at least once or twice a week and just better our community for the glory of God,” said Lauren Valentine, a member of Oasis youth group.
It’s all part of M.A.D or “Make a Difference Day” for the youth group at Macedonia Baptist Church. They cleaned up a homeless camp and volunteered at the Fieldhouse.
Samantha Burkeen said she feels like the experience is humbling for the group, “I think seeing this brings out..you know you could have it ten times worst. You might be having a bad day but it doesn’t compare to what these people are having to live with.”
Just a few weeks ago, the camp was the site of a homicide involving two homeless men. Randy Price works with Fieldhouse for the homeless, “they have nowhere else to go. They’re in a hopeless situation.” He also worked closely with both the victim and suspect of the homicide, sparking the need to clean up the area.
Price said the goal of the Fieldhouse is to make sure that homelessness is a season and not a way of life, “We believe in the gospel of Christ and we bring hope to these people the best we can”
Volunteers said cleaning up the camp will encourage the homeless to visit the Fieldhouse for help. Price said, “Over the past year to eighteen months we’ve take people out of homeless conditions and into apartments.”
Price said they’re working with the police department by, “Eliminate some of these homeless camps in and around Hattiesburg,” and helping provide housing during the same process.
If you would like to learn more about The Fieldhouse for the Homeless, volunteer or make a donation click here