Rising homeless population contributes to rising costs for Biloxi shelter

Rising homeless population contributes to rising costs for Biloxi shelter

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Hot meals, conversation with others and basic hygiene are things many take for granted. However, those are things people who visit the Seashore Mission might would go without if it weren’t for the work of Executive Director Elijah Mitchell and his team of volunteers.

“We try to enable people to move forward in life and not to keep them here permanently,” Mitchell said.

Sade Morgan was one of the more than 100 people who needed a place to cool off and something to eat on Thursday. When she’s in the Seashore Mission, Morgan feels hope for the future.

"It doesn't really feel like I'm homeless when I'm here," Morgan said. "It's a good transitional phase for trying to get your own residence."

Those in need can receive three or four meals a day, four days a week. In June and July, more than 5,000 plates of food were served. According to Mitchell, the demand is growing with more people looking for opportunities moving to the area.

“People hear that there are job opportunities on the Gulf Coast, so they move here without taking consideration of is there adequate housing available or are there really jobs available,” Mitchell said. “Housing is not always available that they can afford, and job opportunities aren’t available unless you have certain skill sets.”

With growing demand comes higher bills, and the cost to keep the doors open is around $10,000 a month.

“I struggle every month, and I fall short somewhere around $4,000- $5,000 a month,” Mitchell said.

Those operation costs come entirely from donations. The generosity of others is playing a big role in James Adkins’ life. Since first entering the doors of Seashore Mission, Adkins has gone from living on the streets to now having a place to call home. He said it wouldn’t have been possible without the help he’s received.

“These people, they’re saints,” Adkins said.

For more information on how to help Seashore Mission, you can check out their Facebook page.

To contribute, send check or money order to P.O Box 226 Biloxi, MS, or visit the Mission at 865 Division Street in Biloxi.

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