BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - With the issue of homelessness and panhandling front and center in Biloxi, dozens of businesses and non-profits once again joined together to help.
"It feels like somebody cares about you, and that we're not just out here by ourselves trying to struggle," said Cathy Heilig.
That struggle could be seen at the Donal Snyder Community Center on Friday as more than 300 homeless individuals took part in the 9th annual Project Homeless Connect. Dozens of vendors and non-profits offer services including flu shots, haircuts, meals, and even free clothes.
"We got clothes, I got a sleeping bag, I finally got a tent. I got some new shoes. There's all kinds of stuff here. We got all kinds of things. Things we really needed," said one recipient.
The number of services available impressed Amber Livings.
"Every day you don't have people that help you out. So when you have people who take the time out of their day to come and do this type of thing for us, it's awesome," Livings said.
Open Doors Homeless Coalition aim in organizing the event is not just to sustain the homeless, but to help them advance their lives to a better position.
"We have things to help them move forward and hopefully end their homelessness," said Mary Simons.
There were even services for pets.
"My dog, this is just a wonderful program. She got her rabies shot, and she got her parvo shot, and dewormed and also she got her nails clipped," said Heilig.
The appreciation for the help was evident.
Those interested in volunteering with the organization can call 228-604-2048.