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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  • by Anonymous on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM
    You can't put anyone down who is homeless! You don't know what, why or how they ended up where they are. No one wakes up one day and says I want to be homeless. Don't put anyone down! You don't know anything about them! Until you have walked in their shoes then keep your negative comments to yourself! They are all humans just like you and I!
    • reply
      by Glennda on Apr 16, 2012 at 02:08 PM in reply to
      You are so right! What makes a lot of people put the homeless down is the fact that they know that they are only a few paychecks away from being in the same boat!
  • by Glennda on Apr 16, 2012 at 08:54 AM
    Why is everyone downing Ginger? Perhaps I did not read the same "Ginger comment" that you all did, but I don't see where she said she didn't think he doesn't deserve it. The comment I see says "why should he have to pay for a fema trailer? didnt all the people on the coast and la get them for free. he is a old man and needs a place to stay warm.gotta love the government and state.NOT we will see what we can do" What part of that is disagreeing with the fact that people should help him out? Her last statement says "we will see what we can do".
    • reply
      by Peabody on Apr 17, 2012 at 05:45 AM in reply to Glennda
      Agreed,she said nothing wrong. When hundreds lose homes the gov. steps in but why not one, it still means helping out a family/person in need.
  • by James on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:29 AM
    Does this person qualify for Habitat for Humanity building of a house? If not I'll understand. But if he does, would the ex-FEMA trailer be a better and cheaper way to go?
  • by anony Location: MS on Apr 14, 2012 at 11:05 PM
    Well shame on all the bad bad people who want to help someone in need. Golly, how many of you can afford to buy a trailer for someone. Can you afford to help all the homeless people in our area. Can you feed all the people who come to loves kitchen for a month? Well I can't so what help we can give to someone we see in need when the opportunity comes, we should be cheerful givers. That is what my Bible says. Ok, stepping down off my soap box.
  • by Robert Location: Meridian on Apr 14, 2012 at 01:43 PM
    Why not ask Johnson Dodge or Johnson Mobile homes if they would be willing to donate one of those trailers or at least sell it at cost?
  • by Debra Location: MS on Apr 14, 2012 at 08:49 AM
    It seem that everyone is quick to donation's when it's a nation that is on the other side of the world the Bible said help your own First I really think people need to read there Bible and I mean the HOLY Bible and search there heart's for the real meaning of understanding and helping our own people in our own Country and State's.
  • by Susan on Apr 14, 2012 at 05:06 AM
    The Bible says... Do unto other's as you would have them do into you.
  • by BRENDA on Apr 13, 2012 at 11:32 PM
  • by Jeff Location: Meridian on Apr 13, 2012 at 11:18 PM
    Do not debate if this man needs help or deserves it, it is clear that he does. He needs the trailer and should have it regardless if it's paid for by the government or citizen donations. If you want to focus on the government helping people out, focus your attention on the huge amount of money this nation hands out every year in foreign aid to countries that wish nothing more to see us dead and destroyed. A fine example came October 3rd 1993, Mogadishu, Somalia Africa, millions of dollars in food aid sent, followed by American and Nato forces, in the end on October 3rd, 1993 a bloody ambush of our troops that left 19 American Army Rangers and Delta Force Soldiers dead and another 78 wounded. Looking at that, and other similiar situations, I say if we cannot take care of our own first, then we sure do not have the funds to take care of foreign nations. Give this citizen the help he needs and deserves!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 14, 2012 at 06:50 AM in reply to Jeff
      I agree with you and I also think that if the gov. would stop giving money to healthy people who are just too sorry to work or having one baby after the other we would have more to help our elderly with.
  • by trice Location: meridian on Apr 13, 2012 at 08:18 PM
    I no that everyone cant be helped but I have known Mr. Alex for a long time an hes a good guy..an i do plan to donate
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