Shelters open doors during cold nights in South MS - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Shelters open doors during cold nights in South MS

Cold weather shelters open in South MS during cold weather. (Photo source: WLOX News) Cold weather shelters open in South MS during cold weather. (Photo source: WLOX News)

Cold weather on the Mississippi Gulf Coast has prompted the opening of two cold weather shelters in Harrison County Monday night. We don't get a lot of near freezing temperatures here in South Mississippi, but when we do everyone has a warm place to go. Those who go to the shelters are thankful for the refuge, and the volunteers are happy to serve.

The sound of coffee brewing. The smell of a hot meal. And people curled up on their cots. That's what you will find at the Harrison County managed cold weather shelter in D'iberville.

"We're just here to provide a warm bed. A hot meal. A safe place, for those that need the most to go to. That's our goal. It's our mission and that's what we get that comes in here," said Harrison County Supervisor Windy Swetman.

You will find many of the same things at the Salvation Army Shelter in Gulfport. A hot meal, smiling volunteers, and a cot to rest your head. That means a lot to Della Murphy, who is recently homeless.

"At first it was very hard to just not be able to wake up in the morning, go to the sink and brush my teeth or things like that, but now I appreciate the simple things far more than I ever have in my entire life," Murphy said.

Having always had a steady job, Murphy said she once had a misconception about the homeless community.

"We're trying to go to the WIN job center and stuff. It's not like we're just out here. Most of these people aren't just out here running around, they try. A lot of these people try, but nobody wants to hire somebody that looks homeless or dirty. They don't see past that," said Murphy.

That's why places like the Salvation Army try to support those in need however they can.

"It's a heart issue for the Salvation Army. We believe that if Christ was walking the face of the earth today this is exactly what he would be doing," said Major Gary Sturdivant with the Salvation Army.

And on a frigid night, that mission is more important than ever.

"That's what we're about is saving people from sin and also saving people from the elements outside as far as our cold weather shelter goes," said Sturdivant.

Both shelters open their doors on cold weather nights around 4 p.m. and those who stay overnight must leave by 7 a.m.

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