HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — The Fieldhouse for the Homeless is asking city and county officials to help fund their shelter as the homeless population continues to grow in the Hub City.
“People don’t take homelessness serious,” said Michelle Thomas.
Three weeks ago, Thomas and her son were displaced leaving her unable to register him for the 8th grade.
“Because we all know when you register your child for school you need a proof of residence,” she explained. “Well we have no proof of residence.”
That’s when she reached out to the Fieldhouse for support.
“They allowed us to use their address for proof of residence so he can get back into school.”
One of the directors, Cynthia Young said the need to help other homeless families has increased over the last year – with a over 200 families without a home. So, Monday morning she wen the Forrest County Board of Supervisors and asked for a $10,000 grant.
Te following is a statement that was presented to the board of supervisors:
As a 501C organization, we have had the privilege to supply and meet needs of 3,330 plus homeless individuals since we opened in 2013 and 1,500 individuals alone in 2017. These efforts have been possible by way of various but limited donor funding. This number is growing considerably! With there being extremley limited resources available to the homeless outside of the Fieldhouse for the Pine Belt area, especially with the recent tornado damage to the Salvation Army this has contributed to a huge influx of homeless indivduals and families retreating to the Fieldhouse. So what can we and will the city do to assist the Fieldhouse’s efforts to help these individuals return to a productive society?”
“It would go towards assisting with more identification cards, ordering birth certificates, providing security to the shelter, being able to feed more people. Everyday we feed until it’s gone and there is just an increasing need,” said Young.
A new campaign is called ‘Matthew 25’ which will ask donors to send $25 monthly and churches to give $1,025 (over a year’s time frame) to the shelter.
“$25 covers one identification card. An I.D. is the one thing that causes people who are homeless to stay homeless,” said Young. “That’s there ticket for getting their life back.”
Thomas added, “$25 dollars is like a million dollars when you don’t have it.”
The shelter is currently waiting for a decision from the board and look forward to having support from the city and county.