Volunteers work to help homeless in the heat

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The dry weather and intense heat have at least two non-profit organizations scrambling to make sure the homeless on the coast survive this heat wave.

Shepherd of the Gulf in Harrison County and Hands of Help in Hancock County are collecting donations of ice and bottled water to help those who have no place to take shelter.

Lynda Favre has a passion for the homeless. Favre routinely make trips to the woods to help those without shelter.

"It's extremely hot. It showed the heat index on my car and it's like a 110 when we just got here," said Lynda Favre, President of Shepherd of the Gulf. "It's extremely hot. It's unbearable to a lot of people."

Favre and others with her organization are delivering ice and water to a number of camp sites set up in the woods.

"They've sweat so much out here, [it] makes them weak, makes you tired," Favre explained.

Brad Barrow is homeless and living in a tent in the woods of Gulfport.

"It's gladly appreciated," Barrow said of the cool drink. "Because, like I say, there's times when we can't be back here, it's so hot."

"They usually go to the different stores and do things there to cool off and cool down," said Jeana Weiss, founder of Hands of Help. "They change because the stores get tired of them being there."

In Hancock County, Weiss's organization is also working to keep the homeless hydrated and cool.

"The heat is really unbearable. We do cold weather shelters for the winter. They really need to do warm weather shelters. I just met a young man, 19 years old, that was trying to get money to get a hotel room just for one night because he couldn't sleep last night the heat was too intense."

Both organizations need help to accomplish their cooling missions.

"With the economy the way it is, it could be your next door neighbor, it could be yourself the next time," Favre said. "Jesus was homeless, so don't turn your back on them. Just think about Jesus and what would he do?"

The groups are collecting bottled water, ice and ice chests, as well as bug spray. And both groups have accounts at Hancock Bank Branch where donations are accepted.

You can contact Jeana Weiss with Hands of Help at (601) 906-2409. Lynda Favre with Shepherd of the Gulf can be reaches at (228) 324-1712.

You can also search for Hands of Help Mississippi on Facebook, or visit http://www.shepherdofthegulf.org/
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