Lee's rains worry Biloxi soup kitchen in more ways than one

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A Biloxi soup kitchen is doing what it can to keep the homeless as dry as possible. Loaves and Fishes officials said the possibility of people getting seriously ill isn't the only worry the rain is causing.

Volunteers passed out sloppy joes slightly ahead of the usual lunch time schedule on Saturday. Because of the heavy rain, breakfast also came early at the Biloxi soup kitchen.

"We just got here about an hour and a half early,"said Director Betsey Murin. "Just to get the door open. Get the coffee on early. Give everybody a place to start getting dried out."

Loaves & Fishes gave away most of the clothing and all of the ponchos trying to keep the homeless dry. Murin said as Lee's rains continue to pound South Mississippi, she's concerned about those people living in the woods or in tents.

"It's hard to stay warm and healthy when you're soaked to the skin," Murin said. "The guys that came in this morning were wet through every layer of clothing."

As the soup kitchen gives the homeless a place to come in out of the rain, Murin has to worry about the rain getting inside of the soup kitchen. The building on Main Street is plagued by leaks and she said the problem is getting worse.

"This building needs some help. We need tarps. We need volunteers to come and help us fix and shore up and paint," said Murin. "It leaks badly when it rains. Nothing gets better on its own. We're tired of praying about it and now it's time to do something about it. We need some help."

Loaves & Fishes officials said it will be hard for them to keep helping those in need without help from the community. The soup kitchen is usually closed on Sunday. However, the director says she plans to open in the morning until the time the homeless have the option of going over to Project Safe Space on Howard Avenue.

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