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Salvation Army breaks ground on new shelter for struggling families

Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Salvation Army in Gulfport is expanding its services for families in South Mississippi, following its motto “Doing the Most Good.” Leaders in the organization, city, and community geared up with their hard hats and shovels to mark day one of the year-long construction of The Community Center of Hope.

“We are so grateful that you are finally able to break ground,” said Gulfport Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines.

Gulf Coast Salvation Army Area Commander Maj. Bradley Caldwell said this new shelter will really impact families who’ve fallen short and no longer have a secure place to live.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to see groundbreaking for The Community Center of Hope, and we’re excited about this project getting off the ground,” Caldwell said. “It’s a chance to really impact families’ lives and move them forward.”

The new shelter will meet the needs of families that have fallen short and no longer have a place to stay. Caldwell said this housing will operate differently than an emergency shelter.

Gulfport Salvation Army expects new shelter, The Community Center of Hope, to be complete in a...
Gulfport Salvation Army expects new shelter, The Community Center of Hope, to be complete in a year.(wlox)

“It is not just a temporary relief from conditions; it is a program directed to move families into better living options and their own housing and, again, a stable income and hope for the future,” Caldwell said.

There will eight apartments, serving families for 30 to 60 days. This is geared to help families who are in the transition stage of getting back on their feet, searching for a secure and stable place to call home again. Out of the eight apartments, two are specifically for Jackson County needs.

“The transition stage right now in a pandemic and loss of jobs, this is going to be a center of attraction where we’re going to ask the community to open the doors and give to it,” Holmes-Hines said.

Holmes-Hines said the shelter has been a community effort and to finally move dirt has brought everyone’s vision to better serve the Gulf Coast to life.

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