BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Charred remains of clothing, linens, furniture and other household necessities is all that remains of St. Vincent de Paul's distribution center. It was once a place the poor or homeless could come for help.
"Our clients have been the ones that have been really interrupted with the all of this, with the fire and the results of the fire," explained Susan Taylor, President of St. Vincent de Paul. "We haven't been able to provide what they needed during this past week."
Instead, the past nine days have been spent moving into a temporary distribution site, next door. And miraculously, the goods started pouring in almost as quickly as they were taken away.
According to volunteer Ed Crouse, "The donations started coming in right away. I had no place to put them. I had to stack them back in the corner over here, and move everything. And it's been pretty hectic. But we got it done."
Space is limited now that St. Vincent de Paul is sharing a building with Fatima. The structure normally serves as the parish's yard sale warehouse.
"It's a bit smaller," said Taylor. "It's cramped because we have other items in here that aren't ours. But it's working and it will work beautifully for us now."
Taylor said eventually, St. Vincent de Paul will rebuild its distribution site. But for now, all of her volunteers are thrilled to have a place to serve those who need them most.
With a grin, Crouse added, "Here we are again. We're right back in business. It only took us a week."
"But it's all come together," said Taylor. "And we really are excited to be able to open tomorrow."
St. Vincent de Paul opens at its new temporary location Tuesday morning from 10 a.m. until noon. It's located next to Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church on Tara Lane in Biloxi. Volunteers say they are still in need of men's work clothes, as well as any coats, sweatshirts, or jackets.