Salvation Army offers free services to help people find jobs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Salvation Army offers free services to help people find jobs

A Salvation Army client taking advantage of the new resource center. (Photo source: WLOX News) A Salvation Army client taking advantage of the new resource center. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The homeless and unemployed in South Mississippi can now get access to additional tools, training and tips to help them find a job. The Salvation Army in Gulfport opened its new Community Resource Room Wednesday. It is a place that brings resources and experts together to help people who need some guidance to get on the path to employment.

"Praise the Lord!" The Salvation Army Area Commander Major Gary Sturdivant shouted that as he cut the ribbon.

With words of thanks, Salvation Army leaders opened the new Community Resource Room at their location on 22nd Street in Gulfport. The space may seem small, but it can make a big difference in the lives of people who are struggling to find work.

"Some of them are living in deplorable conditions. Some of them are living out in the woods. So giving them access to the Internet, just any tool and resource we can give them to give them some hope," said Sturdivant. 

Computers donated by Ingalls Shipbuilding allow clients to search and apply for jobs, send emails, print personal documents, even do homework.

"Usually I go to the library, so I'll spend a few hours here," said Leo Suarez of Gulfport.

"It's wonderful! It's great to offer this to everybody who's looking for a job," said Albert Arguelles.

Arguelles was the first to take advantage of the free services.

"I need a full-time job where I can support myself," he said.

Salvation Army staff and volunteers will help clients navigate the Internet. The WIN Job Center will also provide employment assistance, and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will hold GED classes there. The assistance doesn't stop once clients find a job. They can come to learn from the experts on how to keep their jobs and manage their money.

"The computers are great! I think it'll be a good experience for people to come in here and job search," said Edward Walker.

"This place is a very good place to start all over again," said Suarez.

"Your heart almost wants to explode sometimes, just thinking about all the goodness that's happening on the coast of Mississippi to take care of those who sometimes can't take care of themselves," said Sturdivant.

"Folks can come in and receive a hand up from the Salvation Army. Some of them we clothe them. Some of them we feed them. Now, some of them we're giving them the opportunity to maybe do a little better in life and be able to clothe and feed someone else," he added.

Other services include lessons on how to prepare for a job interview and how to set up a household budget. Those GED classes start July 6.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.
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