The Reverend Tom Mims, Director of the Gulf Coast Rescue Mission, will never forget September 10, 2016. Early on a Saturday morning, a fire swept through the homeless shelter, destroying everything in its path.
"It was a rough morning. I was woke up at about 4:30 and told the building was on fire. By the time I got here it was totally engulfed. It was a total shock," Mims said.
In February, the Rescue Mission was given the go ahead by the city of Biloxi to build a new thrift store and more.
"We're going to rebuild on this slab. Instead of having one building, we'll have two buildings. The main building, phases one and two, will have our kitchen, dorm, and offices. Phase three will be our new thrift store," said Mims.
The shelter has continued to serve the homeless in our area. Gulf Coast Rescue Mission sells donated items in the facility's parking lot and in a makeshift thrift store on the property. The community has continued to support the rescue mission.
Hard work and faith have provided the Gulf Coast Rescue Mission with the resolve to pick up the pieces and move forward with the commitment to rebuild and continue to make a difference.
"If not for my faith, I don't think we would have made it because on that day. All I could think was is this it? After 30 years? But then through prayer and the whole Mississippi Coast coming together and showing their support and being here every day since then, it's been totally amazing," Mims said.
The Rev. Mims is on a mission to complete construction in time to serve the needy on Thanksgiving.