PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - With the temperatures dropping again, charities are preparing for an influx of people heading their way looking for a warm place to stay.
Mary Meldren with Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in Pascagoula says what keeps her going is her love for cooking and in turn helping the community.
Meldren says, "Today especially, on Martin Luther King Day, last year and all these years I've been here at Our Daily Bread. We've always been trying to uplift the community. With it being cold, it seems like our numbers have dramatically increased, and it's beginning to worry me. They want to come in all day, and I'm not going to tell them no."
Pascagoula resident Antonio Duckworth says he's thankful for the chance to get a delicious meal at Our Daily Bread with a family to take care of and difficulties making ends meet.
Duckworth says, "See, that's what we need to do. We need to build more shelters for homeless: these people are out there freezing. I work, but it's only $8 an hour, but something is better than nothing."
Meldren says, "They just need a place to come in from out of the cold. A lot of your local churches and shelters are packed, and the numbers are increasing. But you see people that are just bundled up with jackets and blankets. Even though we feed at 11:30 a.m., I still let them come in just to hang and get warm."
She says she has trouble doing otherwise after seeing the great lengths some go to for their own survival.
Meldren says, "They use the straw and the leaves to hide from the police, even though the buildings have no loitering signs just to stay warm. They'll even curl up in our own dumpster."
And with temperatures expected to dip into the twenties again this week, Meldren says she'll help those in need.