Local Shelters Refuge from the Cold

Wednesday night, both of the shelters operated in Meridian had only three vacant beds.

"People are really in need of shelter," said Linda Jones, director of South Harbor Shelter. "We had people that are out in the woods, they're trying to come in now because of the extreme weather."

In all, Jones says she knows of at least fifty people who live inside the woods in Meridian. However, she says they are not the only ones seeking shelter.

"I have a total of five families that have already called and tried to get shelter but I can't accommodate them," said Jones. "I referred them to the Red Cross."

According to officials at South Harbor Shelter, the calls for assistance started Sunday night and picked up even more Monday. They say a number of the calls came from families in need of shelter from other areas, such as Neshoba and Newton counties.

Those seeking help included a family of three fortunate enough to arrive early while space was still available.s.

"Last night we had 17 people. We've got 20 beds," said Maj. Steve Welch of The Salvation Army. " We can put another 18 on the floor in some fashion, at least it's warm."

The Salvation Army's shelter and South Harbor both provide hot meals for people seeking shelter. That's why officials with South Harbor says they are now in need for donations.

"I can house up to 30 clients per night. So, I will definitely need more food coming in," said Jones.

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