Toomsuba Resident Living in Tool Shed

A Toomsuba man has been living in what many call deplorable conditions, since a fire forced him from his home.

Neighbors told Newscenter 11 they are concerned about Alex Guillen, who now lives in his tool shed.

For the last five years, the 71-year-old Guillen has lived in the same area in Toomsuba. But three months ago, his house was destroyed by an accidental fire.

At the time, he said his wife was visiting their daughter in Georgia and she has stayed there.
He said his daughter visits him periodically to bring him things he needs, but the shed has no plumbing and is not even completely enclosed.

"I decided to stay and take care of the place, because the people around here are stealing," said Guillen. "It's cold here at night, for some reason; it's cold!'

When asked if he wanted to move to another place, Guillen said, "No, I want to stay here. I'm already used to it. What would I do with my dogs? I can't leave them."

Guillen has five dogs that he cares for at this time. At night he sleeps in a tent inside the tool shed. He takes baths at a nephew's house not far away.

About 3 to 4 times a day, a neighbor, who stopped by while we were there, says she brings water and food to Guillen and washes his clothes.

For now, Guillen says all he needs is a coat to keep warm and some materials to do carpentry work.

Prior to us contacting the Mississippi Department of Human Services and officials with MCCSA, we understand that neither agency was aware of his situation. However, officials from both agencies say they are now looking into it.

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  • by sue on Apr 14, 2012 at 02:39 PM
    Serious.y, you know of people that are homeless or live in sheds for reasons other than their desire to live that way & you did nothing until now & that is to complain? Shame on you & it is your guilty conscience causing you to act this way!!! The shame is on your head alone.
  • by anony Location: MS on Apr 13, 2012 at 08:55 PM
    anybody ever have a parent that you try to get to something and they tell you that it is there life and this is a free country? his daughter can not force him to leave. it is his property. what someone said about he hasn't asked for help. the only thing i heard him ask for was a coat to keep warm and someone gave him that. to the others that said there are other homeless. now that you have recognized that fact, go out and find one to help.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 13, 2012 at 06:15 PM
    I call on Johnson Trailers to GIVE him one of those hundreds of trailers they have sitting on 45
  • by Heather on Apr 13, 2012 at 01:37 PM
    If anybody is interested in helping, you can email me at I live next door to him and can help you get the donations to him. Thank you for all the donations already and thank you for all the help you can give even if it is as simple as praying for him. He wears a medium in shirts and a 27 in pants. Right now more than anything he needs donations to help him purchase a FEMA trailer. As for "Steve" and "Resident of", instead of making careless remarks on here about all the other people, act like the caring neighbor you should be and report them to the proper agencies that can help them out. Anybody can make a difference in somebody's life. It takes one simple step. Offer your caring support to anybody in need. Kharma is a sweet little thing :) COPIED FROM THE UPDATED NEWS STORY: To donate for the purchase of the FEMA trailer for Mr. Guillen you can contact MCCSA at (601) 483-4838. The FEMA trailer is expected to cost between $2,500 and $4,000. Donations can 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.
  • by Cindy Location: MS on Apr 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM
    Can anyone that lives nearby have him contact wesley house for help. This is what United Way suggested to me. Trey Long at 601.485.4736 (Wesley House)
  • by Mary Location: Meridian on Apr 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM
    To the person that thinks "we're only focused on this one person" being homeless, no. He is a land-owner that HAD a home, he's not homeless by choice! The homeless I see wandering around Meridian are doing so by choice! They know where to get a handout and to my knowledge the gentleman in this article has asked for help from NO ONE!
  • by Betty Location: orange park Florida on Apr 13, 2012 at 08:53 AM
    I understand this . My Dad in 1964 lived in a shed after our house fire and would not leave. No utilities of any kind. No one helped But he made it. Built a one Room house still had no electric. he had a gas refrigerator,gas stove,water well outside, Outhouse. He lived that way til he fell off Roof and still managed to write me a letter since he had no way to get help then I went and got him.He was in the house five years. Men like this just don't walk by every day.Please HELP Mr. Guillen but don't take his world away.
  • by Mary Location: Meridian on Apr 13, 2012 at 08:43 AM
    Where is Habitat for Humanity now?? And I agree, some merchant in this town that owns FEMA trailers or even Travel Trailers could certainly donate one to this poor man! I'm sure they could use the tax right-off!! Unbelievable that anyone should have to live like this in this day and age!! I know he wants to remain on his property and I don't blame him!! So what business in this town is going to step up to the plate??! It seems the citizens are more interested in helping!!
  • by Debra Location: MS on Apr 13, 2012 at 08:21 AM
    That is all this man need is for some Christian's to show what Christian Love is and help him get back on his feet not for the human group come and take him away from his home & land. People are so cruel to people when they lose all they have and want to start over and don't have the money to do it with. It's great that these biker's for Christ want to Show there love and what Christ would do to help him Out.
  • by MCCSA Location: 2590 Sellers Drive, Meridian, MS 39301 on Apr 13, 2012 at 07:30 AM
    The Multi-County Community Service Agency, Inc. is working with Mr. Gillen to purchase a FEMA trailer; We are in need of funds to assist with this purchase and any monetary donations will be greatly appreciated. Please contact Multi-County at 601-483-4838 to make a contribution. Agency contact person is:Letha Dunn, Community Service Director.
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