Shelters Brace For Cold Snap

Rev. Tom Mims is executive Director of the Gulf Coast Rescue Mission in Biloxi. He says since Katrina, the mission's 50 beds are occupied almost every night. While the mission houses only men, Rev. Mims says no one will be turned away in the wake of the cold snap.

"We have every bed full with the exception of three, and we're a little bit concerned about tomorrow night with being the only shelter in Harrison County, we're concerned about where a lot of these folks are going to be staying. We're going to turn the heater on in our chapel then put some roll away beds in there for them to sleep on, maybe two nights until the freeze is over with," Rev. Mims said.

Hot meals will also be available. The Christian-based mission serves three meals a day everyday. This week will be no exception.

"Just bring themselves. We'll take care of everything else, if they need clothes, we'll give them clothes. If they need blankets, we'll give them blankets. We'll take care of everything. They just need to come in and get out of the cold," Rev. Mims said.

Across county lines, the Salvation Army in Pascagoula is also opening its doors to people who need shelter from the cold.

"One of my employees the other day said the Inn is never full at the Salvation Army. Whatever we've got to do, that's what we're going to do. Already, last night, we had six people on the floor, men. Tonight, we brought in mattresses and we're ready to put them where we need to," said Capt. Andy Collette of the Salvation Army.

The Gulf Coast Rescue Mission in Harrison County and the Salvation Army in Pascagoula are the only shelters in their counties. Both organizations say their facilities are cramped, but they hope to expand soon.