Non-profits await word on Biloxi donations

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of social services agencies have to put off drafting their final budgets until they get a better idea of how much money they'll get from Biloxi. City officials said roughly 35 non-profit groups have asked for donations. However, the city hasn't decided how to handle the requests.

Volunteers from Peace United Church of Christ in spent the week at Loaves and Fishes. The soup kitchen is dishing up 40 percent more plates this year than last.

"Last year we received $8,000 from the city of Biloxi. About a month or so I started hearing rumors that we probably weren't going to get anything this year," said Joseph Gautier, director of program development. "I have been up to three or four city council meetings. I have met with and talked with three or four different city councilmen. I've talked to people in the mayor's office to make sure they're aware of our need."

Some of the food in Back Bay Mission's pantry was bought with the $7,000 donated by Biloxi for last year for emergency services. The city gave another $55,000 for a home repair program.

Interim Director Kenny Washington said "We go into the community and make repairs to homes for low income, disabled and elderly clients in the city of Biloxi."

He said as far as the "emergency assistance. That is providing utility assistance, food, purchasing birth certificates and state ids and things of that sort."

Non profit groups said they know they might get less than what they asked for or nothing.

"We just will have to look for other opportunities because the calls will continue to come in as we continue to do work out in the community. As well as clients will continue to come in seeking assistance," said Washington.

"Some money from the city would make it a lot easier, but we're going to feed everybody we can feed that comes through this door," said Gautier.

Biloxi officials said they plan to take the up donation requests after the city is done dealing with a waterfront rezoning request in East Biloxi. 

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