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Non-profits working to keep people warm, fed during cold snap

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 4:32 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - During this week’s cold weather, local charities have been helping as much as possible. The Salvation Army’s shelter on B St. has 26 beds and 12 cots. Tuesday night only 14 people were being housed.

“We make sure they have warm clothing and a safe, warm place to stay. We are also allowing them to stay throughout the day,” Lt. Tamara Robb said.

The services offered aren’t just for the homeless. The shelter is open to anyone that might have lost power or needing food.

“I just had a mom come to me that had her power out for 22 hours. She needed food for her and her family, so we provided that for her,” Robb explained. “We are allowing women and children come into the facility. We will be able to accommodate anyone that comes in.”

The Wesley House is also helping those in need. They give out bags of food on a regular basis.

“We weren’t sure if we would be available to do that. The truck from Jackson was not able to come this week. We are hoping we have enough food for next week,” Executive Director Rev. David Schultz said.

Wesley House hands out roughly 1,500 bags of groceries every month. The stock room isn’t full, but Schultz said they are still able to provide. Heading into this week’s cold weather, they also provided many items to stay warm. Due to the success of campaigns like “Coats for Kids”, Wesley House was able to provide more than usual.

“We are actually able to give a coat and a lighter jacket. For the people that are getting these, they are able to layer or they’re getting one for each season,” Schultz said.

Services are available for anyone in need, but one of the most challenging aspects of helping is getting the word out. Many homeless people aren’t connected and won’t see an internet posting. If you know anyone that could benefit from these charities make sure to let them know.

“We are just so grateful to be able to serve the community. We will continue doing this while the temperatures drop below 40 degrees,” Robb said.

If you would like to help the Salvation Army with supplies, Lt. Robb says they can always use toilet paper, detergent, toothbrushes and other personal items.

“We have just been very blessed with a number of donations in a number of different ways and through a number of different sources,” Schultz said.

To make donations or to use services available you can visit https://salvationarmyalm.org/meridian/ or call the Salvation Army Shelter at 601-483-9570.

The Wesley House can be reached at 601-485-4736.

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