Update on Man Living in Tool Shed

"I read it just about every day. I make sure I read a book or two just about every day," said Alex Guillen.

A charred Hebrew Bible is one of the few things Guillen says was spared by an accidental fire that destroyed his house at 3269 North Shore Drive in Toomsuba.

Since it happened three months ago, Guillen has been sleeping in a tent in a tool shed by the burned house. With no electricity or indoor plumbing, Guillen says it appears his prayers are being answered.

"Mr. Guillen, we want to bring you a trailer here that you can stay in and then you'll have time to fix up your building," said Shirley Deville with Multi-County Community Service Agency.

Officials from MCCSA are spearheading an effort to purchase a FEMA trailer for Guillen.

"Yes ma'am. Yes ma'am, with all my heart," said Guillen when asked if he would like to have a trailer.

"He has clothing, food and food for his dogs. We just need monetary donations to help purchase a FEMA trailer," said MCCSA Community Service Director, Letha Dunn.

Family and friends of Guillen say since the fire, they've asked him to stay with them, but he turns down the offers.

Guillen says there are two main reasons why he doesn't want to leave. One reason is because he doesn't want to leave his five dogs. The other reason is because he's afraid that thieves will steal his belongings.

According to Guillen after the fire three months ago, thieves sifted through the ashes and stole a number of things.

"I've been here 45 years and I've never accepted nothing from the government," said Guillen. "I feel in my heart that there are enough people in this country right now who need help more than me.
To know that there are people in the world that will help someone in need, it's great! It feels good."

The FEMA trailer is expected to cost between $2,500 and $4,000.

Donations may be mailed to the MCCSA office at 2590 Sellers Drive, Meridian, MS 39301. When donating, please specify that the donation is for the Alex Guillen Fund. MCCSA's phone number is 601-483-4838.

Response to this story from individual members of the community and organizations has been overwhelming.


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