Gulfport City Council To Decide Whether God's Katrina Kitchen Can Stay

Will God's Katrina Kitchen stay or go, that's the question the Gulfport city council is scheduled to decide on when it meets Monday afternoon. God's Katrina Kitchen director, James Giles, says although time is running out for a decision to be made, the kitchen's mission is far from over.

"We're feeding about 1,000 to 1500 meals a day, probably 3/4 of those are volunteers that come in in the area.  We're still feeding a lot of people that are elderly, disabled or children or those we would call the working poor," says James Giles, God's Katrina Kitchen Director.

Giles says the kitchen's mission has expanded since it moved to Gulfport in October of last year, including housing up to 150 volunteers and directing them to other sites.

"The people are still coming and still looking for opportunities, and we're one of the few locations left here that's doing a lot of unskilled labor volunteer work," says Giles.

But, the kitchen's presence raises concerns for some in the community like Dianne and James Herbert who live down the street.

"We've called the police I don't know how many times.  We have people stealing things out of people's houses, stealing our neighbors plants off of their porch, sleeping on porches and breaking into these houses," says Dianne Hebert.

"We've got a long way toward clearing up some of the issues happening, especially in the neighborhood itself, but I've also talked to and a lot of issues were here before the storm," says Giles.

"We had very minor problems before, yes in every neighborhood there are some, but nothing like this," says Hebert.

At this point, Giles says if the kitchen can't stay in Gulfport, right now, other options are not an option.

"We have no other options at this point. Until God has released us from here, we really feel like we're called to be here and help out."

The Gulfport City Council meets Monday afternoon at 2:30 at City Hall.