PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - Pascagoula’s tent city got a cleanup for the first time in 15 years.
The makeshift camp is where many homeless people in Pascagoula go for shelter. For more than a decade, people moved in and out, leaving belongings behind.
“This is definitely something you have to see to believe," said Jennah Seals with G&J Auto Detailing. She and her partner Geana Broadus organized the cleanup by calling for help from volunteers and local businesses.
Broadus and Seals developed a close friendship with several tent city residents through small acts of service. They didn’t have the manpower or resources to give the camp a deep clean.
Volunteers filled trash bags with mounds of old mattresses, empty containers, clothing, and more. People took extra caution as they picked through the grounds for dangerous items.
“There’s a lot of needles located out here and other paraphernalia,” one volunteer said. “We’re just trying to clean it up, make sure nobody gets hurt and keep it out of the people’s hands.”
Other items brought on unexpected emotions.
“Baby clothes, wow. Teddy bears. Because I have babies of my own and like, babies living out here. It’s a hurtful feeling,” said volunteer Shamecka Duckworth.
The grunt work was light work for those who took the time to help out.
“You’re doing it for a good cause, so you can push everything else that’s unimportant aside,” said volunteer Makayah Bracey.
“I’ve been where they’re at before, so I feel like its an obligation to our community to help better it," said one man.
Geana Broadus said she is also familiar with living under those circumstances. She hopes the cleanup lets tent city residents know that they are not forgotten.
“Sometimes you just need somebody to give you a little bit of hope and that’s what we hope that we do for them, give them something to believe in,” Broadus said.