Meridian, Miss. Currently, the only shelter for families in Meridian is closed for renovations. However, efforts are being made to reopen that facility as soon as possible.
"The shelter will reopen, and it will be much more improved," says Sollie Norwood, who is a consultant for Multi-County Community Service Agency. MCCSA operates South Harbor Shelter. For the last two months it has been closed for what MCCSA officials call much needed renovations. Once reopened officials say the shelter will provide more services to the people who stay there.
"If it's a child, the child will be in school," says Norwood. "We'll make sure they have access to transportation and that they're in school. If it's an adult, or elderly person, we're going to make sure that there are activities that they will be able to participate in. If it's an able bodied individual, we're going to make sure that that individual is out seeking employment."
Costing almost 200-thousand dollars to operate each year, efforts are being made to secure more funding to operate South Harbor Shelter.
"We'll be soliciting more from the local government," says Norwood. "Plus, we're looking to apply for more grant funding because it has been underfunded since its inception. So, we're going to be looking to access different resources."
Able to house up to 34 people per night, South Harbor Shelter has two family units, two dorms for men, and another dorm for women. Once the work is finished, members of the community will be able to tour the shelter.
"As a matter of fact, we're going to send out invitations," says MCCSA Interim Director Angela Hicks, "and on that day prior to the reopening we're going to invite the community to come out, and take a look at what we've done in the shelter."
With most of the work being donated, the projected re-opening date for South Harbor Shelter is September 9th.