Pastor wants to address issues that bring people to cold weather shelters

Pastor wants to address issues that bring people to cold weather shelters

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - With temperatures expected to dip into the 20s and 30s this week, a Hancock County church is welcoming those needing a warm place to stay. This is actually the first time Old Spanish Trail Baptist has served as a cold weather shelter since the Reverend Zack Cooper became pastor.

"For people in the area who are maybe homeless, or they have a home but don't have central heating and air, they can come here and have a warm place to stay when it gets below freezing," said Cooper.

Cooper said its not just the church members who help out. Others in the community also volunteer to staff the shelter and prepare meals.

"The community here has been very good at helping out with this operation. We've got people on standby with meals ready to eat," Cooper said. "They have been very helpful in donating both money and meals and time to this endeavor because our community really cares about those that potentially, have the potential of freezing out at night."

In his new role as pastor, Cooper said he would like to see the church expand its role. He wants to do more to help people address the issues that cause them to need to go to a cold weather shelter.

"The fact of the matter is they may come here for a couple of nights or two when it gets cold, but that's not where the problem ends. The problem goes long after that. So trying to set these people up for success in their life long after they leave here is one of our main goals," said Cooper.

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