Homeless advocate launches spiritual crusade - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Homeless advocate launches spiritual crusade

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A homeless advocacy group is on a mission to bring the community of faith together to find housing solutions. Lynda Favre is the coordinator for Shepherd of the Gulf. She said in 2013 she is on a mission to go to every church she can to educate people about the plight of the homeless and teach people about the right and wrong ways to try to help.

Three days a week, Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen drops off 40 hot lunches at Bethel Lutheran Church in Biloxi. Even when the boxes are gone, no one goes without.

"If anybody does show up late, we'll go in the back, we'll find them some raviolis or something and still have something to send home with them. That way no one leaves hungry," said Joshua LimKemann. 

Hunger isn't the only homeless issue the Shepard of the Gulf would like to see churches take on. There is no shelter in Harrison County. Favre said with the 'not in my backyard' mentality, she's doubtful one will be built soon, so she wants to speak directly to the heart of God's people.

"Approaching the local churches of Gulf Coast and have the churches gather and unite to offer help to the homeless, to offer plans for a sheltering them. To give them a start. To give them the help they need to get started," Favre said.

She also wants to teach congregations that here are different kinds of homelessness, so she doesn't advise giving cash to a homeless person.

"You have some that want to be helped, that need a hand up, not a hand out," said Favre. "It's very important to know, you have some that make a living off of being homeless, and you have to learn the difference. It's very tough. It took me a little while in the beginning to learn to recognize the difference."

Feeding the homeless and others in need takes a lot of donations. Loaves and Fishes officials said since the holidays season ended, contributions to the soup kitchen have slowed significantly. The free meals at Bethel Lutheran are served Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:30am.

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