12th annual homelessness marathon

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - People around the world heard the untold stories of South Mississippians facing homelessness. It was part of a 14 hour marathon, beginning Monday night, to bring attention to homelessness on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

"You hear about the homeless, you hear about the disabled on fixed income, you hear about all that needs to be done to the housing," said civic leader Dorothy McClendon.

Local leaders say the 12th annual Homelessness Marathon is giving a voice to the voiceless in hopes putting an end to homelessness in South Mississippi.

"I do believe that if we are a caring people, then one of the basic needs for people is shelter," said Pastor Elijah Mitchell.

Mitchell is one of the many panelists taking part in the 14 hour broadcast.

"There is not affordable housing for all people to live. Maybe for some people, but not for all people to have a shelter," said Mitchell.

Mitchell is disappointed in the government's response to homelessness post Katrina. And he's not the only one.

"I've been homeless for the last 14 or 15 years," said Mona Wilson.

Mona Wilson has lived in Biloxi for the past 37 years.

"I sleep in the tent in the woods," said Wilson. "I have a few blankets and comforters that keep me warm."

Wilson said getting back on her feet is easier said than done. That's why she's talking to the world about what it means to be homeless in South Mississippi, in hopes of moving the coast one step closer to eradicating the growing epidemic.