GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Maj. Gary Sturdivant has spent most of his life saving lives in the name of the Lord with the Salvation Army.
"Well, the Salvation Army, our motivation is Lord Jesus, and we just want to offer hope," said Sturdivant.
Now, that same hope will soon be offered to many in the form of a new three-story facility built right off Hwy. 49. It's a transitional housing shelter different from the traditional homeless shelter.
"We're saying it's a place called home, because we want to make it as close to home for these folks as it can be while they're down on their luck. This community will be for those folks who are wanting a hand up and not a hand out," said Sturdivant
Sturdivant said a new grant from the Mississippi Act worth more than $1 million will enable the center to offer work therapy, work training sessions, and other services that would help people get back on their feet.
"It cost $1.3 million to operate it for a year, so we just see God's hand through this whole process to help the Salvation Army to help others that are on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said Sturdivant.
The property will also be in the same exact location as the new Salvation Army Family Store. That will definitely make things easier on those who work at the facility.
"We used to have to run a lot of trucks in and out to distribute stuff, and now we'll be all in one location. It'll be so efficient," said Salvation Army worker Roxane Lance.
Construction bidding for the Center of Hope will begin soon.