Solutions for homelessness discussed in Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Solutions for homelessness discussed in Ocean Springs

A room full of people listened to various suggestions for what can be done to prevent homelessness in the city. (Photo source: WLOX) A room full of people listened to various suggestions for what can be done to prevent homelessness in the city. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Stopping homelessness was at the center of conversation in Ocean Springs on Wednesday. 

City leaders, ministers and representatives from social agencies gathered to talk about what can be done to provide the homeless with hope and keep them off the street. A room full of people listened to various suggestions for what can be done to prevent homelessness in the city. 

"No one should be without a home, everybody should have a place to stay," said resident Bruce Hull.

The Open Doors Homeless Coalition operates with the hope of finding a home for everyone. 

"Our role is to help build solutions to homelessness," said employee Mary Simons. 

Simons says the solution starts with mental evaluations and the coalition has partnered with Singing River to identify the homeless and provide them with the medical services. 

The Coalition has also secured grants totaling $500,000 a year for three years. The grant money will help give housing subsides across the Coast.

Kenney Washington with Back Bay Mission says those housing subsides will go a long way toward solving the homeless problem. 

"They have to have a place to go, you have to go somewhere," Washington said. "So if we can figure out a place that we can actually have for them to go to access their situation and see what's going on with them then we possibly could come up with some kind of solution."

Mayor Connie Moran says the Board of Aldermen have signed an agreement to welcome the Open Doors Homeless Coalition and the city is willing to help the agency. By giving temporary assistance, Simons believes permanent solutions can be achieved. 

"Our hope is that eventually we'll be able to prevent homelessness where ever we can and if someone falls into homelessness make sure that experience is rare and brief and they move forward never to be homeless again," Simons said.  

The Open Doors Homeless Coalition is looking for partnerships with other agencies and individuals on the Coast to provide a wide range of assistance. To learn more about the Open Doors Homeless Coalition, visit http://opendoorshc.org/AboutUs.aspx

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