Homelessness increasing as Governor Reeves ends rental assistance program

The measure to end the RAMP program is part of a larger objective by Gov. Tate Reeves to get Mississippians back into the workforce.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:41 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The number of people without homes in South Mississippi is growing. It’s one reason why community activist Christene Brice is providing for those in need.

“Does someone sleep on this sofa?” Brice asked while visiting homeless people.

The Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program, also known as RAMP, uses federal money to help renters make payments. But this week, Governor Reeves ended that program for the state.

Brice says the governor’s decision is forcing more families to live outside or in vehicles.

“You see this young man sleeping on this sofa,” she said. “It’s going to be a lot of men, women, and children who will not have a place to live.”

“A lot of people are living in their cars,” said Feed My Sheep executive director David Lyon. “A lot of people are living on the streets. I have probably about four or five customers who come here every day who live in their vehicles. It’s sad because some of them have children and some of them have pets.”

Lion said the rising costs for consumers this summer is causing him to rethink his delivery options.

“I’m getting more and more requests to deliver to people who are in houses just because they can’t afford their gas to get down here, so they are calling me,” he said. “That’s not typically a reason we would deliver.”

According to Governor Reeves, the remaining, unused funds for RAMP will be returned to the United States Department of Treasury.

The Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program that existed in Mississippi prior to the pandemic will remain in effect.

Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Copyright 2022 WLOX. All rights reserved.