Salvation Army opens as homeless campsites flood - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Salvation Army opens as homeless campsites flood

Volunteers help unfold cots at the Salvation Army in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX News) Volunteers help unfold cots at the Salvation Army in Gulfport. (Photo source: WLOX News)

The ongoing rains along the coast have flooded more than roadways and backyards, they've also soaked the campsites for many homeless people. That's why the Salvation Army's cold weather shelters will be open beginning tomorrow for those who need a dry place to sleep.

"We had our volunteers come in. They started taking out all of the cots. They started preparing all of the linens. And we have talked with Feed My Sheep, who does our meals and so they have started preparing the meals for us," said Salvation Army Public Relations Director Laura Bianco.

Beginning Thursday through Sunday the Salvation Army's cold weather shelters in Gulfport and Pascagoula will be open for anyone needing a dry place to lay their head.

"Yesterday, when they came through, they kept saying how horrible the camps were, muddy. Their tents were getting wet. Their tents were flooded and we were seeing that. They were bringing in their items and we met today and decided, you know we need to do something to help our clients, to help our community," said Bianco.

Salvation Army workers and volunteers spent a few hours unfolding cots and placing blankets out ahead of Thursday night. Bianco says opening the cold weather shelter during the rainy weather is a first.

"The cold weather shelter has never been outside of the cold months. This is the first time we've done something like this," Bianco said.

Because of the unusual time the cold weather shelter is opening, there are a few things the Salvation Army needs help with.

"We do need supplies. We do need volunteers. Right now, you can go on WLOX.com or the Salvation Army website and you can click on those links to volunteer for us. We also need creamer and sugar," she explained.

Bianco says anyone staying at the shelters will have to take a sobriety test to ensure the safety of others. The Salvation Army on Nathan Hale Avenue in Pascagoula opens tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. And the shelter in Gulfport on 22nd Avenue opens at 4 p.m. All shelters will open Thursday through Sunday.

To learn more about how you can help click Salvation Army.

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