Red Cross temporary shelter provides refuge from the cold

By Jeff Lawson – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Red Cross provided shelter for at least 60 people looking for a place to get away from the cold Friday night.

The agency had set up a temporary shelter at the Good Deeds Community Center, but on Friday, moved to the Isiah Fredricks Community Center on Gulfport's Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Many who were there, had spent their day on the streets, trying to stay warm and trying to survive.

"I stay wherever I can," Robert Gray told us.

Gray has been on the streets since he lost his job last summer.

"A lot of times I stay in the woods; you do what you have to," he said.

For Gray, the days have been rough, but he said the nights are when he worries the most about what may happen. This was one night, he did not have to worry.

"It is warm here and comfortable; I thank God for that."

While we were there, officials had learned that a family was on the way with a two year old boy.

"It literally grips my heart to know that," the Salvation Army's Jim Dillingham said.

Dillingham emphasized that his agencies and the others, as well, will do everything they can to help.

The Salvation Army has been providing the food for the people and the Red Cross, with the assistance of Harrison County, is providing the shelter. Others have been helping, including the Gulfport Job Corp Center, Feed My Sheep and The Back Bay Mission.

Many volunteers have also come to help with food, clothing and various other needs. Red Cross officials say the shelter will probably stay open through the weekend.

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