Different Faiths Come Together For Common Cause

Homeless families on the Gulf Coast now have a place to turn without the fear of being separated.

Several churches and synagogues from Ocean Springs to Long Beach have joined together to form the Interfaith Hospitality Network. Network members take turns housing and feeding homeless families while they try to get back on their feet.

The program is different from other shelters in that it lets families overcome their obstacles and still stay together. Eighteen churches and synagogues will for one week each offer food, shelter and transportation to homeless people.

Members of the Interfaith Hospitality Network say by housing families together, they are providing a sense of normalcy that is important especially for children.

"When I think of how hot it gets down here in the summertime and how cold and damp it can get in the winter, to think of a child in the trunk of a car or in the back seat of a car is just very painful," board member Linda Bradford said.

Seeing that pain has caused people to look beyond the differences in their faiths and come together to help others in need

"I don't think we should be separated by any title," volunteer Ashley Waltman said. "I think we all worship the same God. He may have a different name. but it's all the same person."

Volunteers say because of layoffs and overstressed help agencies the church will be looked to to do more. They say it will be a difficult but not impossible task.

"People who are strong believers in God. They're own God. Whoever it might be feel the need to live up to their beliefs and they will come forward and provide," said Bradford. "We're providing. the Lord provides so we provide."

One of the families staying at the church said while they think being homeless is embarrassing, they haven't felt looked down on at any of the churches where they've stayed.

By Danielle Thomas