Homeless seek hot meals, warm place to stay during freeze - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Homeless seek hot meals, warm place to stay during freeze

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove confirmed the body found in the woods in Gulfport Monday was the first cold weather death on the Mississippi Coast in three years.  Hargrove said James Hooker, 59, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, died of hypothermia.

His death reveals just how dangerous the record low temperatures can be for those who don't have a roof over their heads. Several organizations are stepping up efforts to help keep the homeless safe and warm.

"Oh man, it's been real cold!" said one homeless man.

"It's like 17 degrees in the morning when you wake up. It's cold out there," said another homeless person.

When temperatures dip into the freezing zone, homemade hot chicken pot pie really hits the spot.

"I'm grateful that they have places to feed us during the day," said Melissa Benedict, who is homeless.

The director of Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen in Biloxi has noticed more homeless people coming in this week. They lined-up for hot meals and enjoyed a warm place to stay for a few hours.

"We feed breakfast and lunch six days a week. We do try to make our facility available between breakfast and lunch. We're not set up to do that, but when it's real cold, bad weather, we do our best to make ourselves available for that," said Joseph Gautier, Loaves & Fishes Director.

"They give us pants, shirts, jackets, stuff like that, everything. Oh man, it's nice," said Robert Washington, who is homeless.

At the Salvation Army in Gulfport, nearly 80 donated coats and jackets were given out Monday night. Roxanna Touchet proudly showed off her new hat, sweater and puffy coat.

"They kept me real warm, and they're a blessing in disguise," said Touchet.

Other cold weather necessities that were donated by the community will also be distributed to people in need.

"We received from them some propane tanks and also some sleeping bags, which are valuable, no matter what the weather is," said Salvation Army Volunteer Ted Hearn.

The homeless can watch TV, take a nap, play games, or enjoy a hot cup of coffee while they wait for the cold weather shelters to open. The Salvation Army also gave-out vouchers to the homeless, so they can shop for clothing in the Family Store.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • More questions than answers about Greene County prison escape

    More questions than answers about Greene County prison escape

    Monday, July 16 2018 6:50 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:50:37 GMT
    Many Greene County residents are still on edge after a convicted double murderer escaped from the Southern Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville almost two weeks ago. (Photo source: WLOX)Many Greene County residents are still on edge after a convicted double murderer escaped from the Southern Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville almost two weeks ago. (Photo source: WLOX)
    Many Greene County residents are still on edge after a convicted double murderer escaped from the Southern Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville almost two weeks ago. (Photo source: WLOX)Many Greene County residents are still on edge after a convicted double murderer escaped from the Southern Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville almost two weeks ago. (Photo source: WLOX)

    Many Greene County residents are still on edge after a convicted double murderer escaped from the Southern Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville almost two weeks ago. Michael Floyd Wilson spent three days on the run before being captured on the coast. Residents want to know how it happened and why, and if it could happen again.

    More >>

    Many Greene County residents are still on edge after a convicted double murderer escaped from the Southern Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville almost two weeks ago. Michael Floyd Wilson spent three days on the run before being captured on the coast. Residents want to know how it happened and why, and if it could happen again.

    More >>
  • New development denied in Latimer

    New development denied in Latimer

    Monday, July 16 2018 6:45 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:45:13 GMT
    Some residents along Daisy Vestry Road in Latimer oppose a proposal to build a new subdivision (photo source: WLOX)Some residents along Daisy Vestry Road in Latimer oppose a proposal to build a new subdivision (photo source: WLOX)
    Some residents along Daisy Vestry Road in Latimer oppose a proposal to build a new subdivision (photo source: WLOX)Some residents along Daisy Vestry Road in Latimer oppose a proposal to build a new subdivision (photo source: WLOX)

    Residents in the Latimer community are breathing a sigh of relief after a motion to build a new subdivision was denied. 

    More >>

    Residents in the Latimer community are breathing a sigh of relief after a motion to build a new subdivision was denied. 

    More >>
  • Want to watch the Biloxi air show from your boat? Here's what you need to know

    Want to watch the Biloxi air show from your boat? Here's what you need to know

    Monday, July 16 2018 6:18 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:18:46 GMT
    Boaters will need to follow the rules when the Blue Angels take to the skies. (Photo source: WLOX News)Boaters will need to follow the rules when the Blue Angels take to the skies. (Photo source: WLOX News)
    Boaters will need to follow the rules when the Blue Angels take to the skies. (Photo source: WLOX News)Boaters will need to follow the rules when the Blue Angels take to the skies. (Photo source: WLOX News)

    The Department of Marine Resources is expecting a big turnout on the water for those wanting to watch the Blue Angels this week in Biloxi. The air show is Saturday and Sunday, but the practice rounds take place Thursday and Friday. 

    More >>

    The Department of Marine Resources is expecting a big turnout on the water for those wanting to watch the Blue Angels this week in Biloxi. The air show is Saturday and Sunday, but the practice rounds take place Thursday and Friday. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly