Back Bay Mission displays transitional shelter built by Gulfport students

Back Bay Mission hopes to have some of the rooms up and running in three to five months.
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 8:50 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - If you stopped by the Sidewalk Saturday in Downtown Biloxi this weekend, you may have seen a “Tiny Bedroom on Wheels.”

Back Bay Mission Executive Director, Rev. James Pennington says the goal of the transportable bedroom is to help keep people off the streets.

“Everybody in the community, I think, sees the issue. The community calls it a homeless problem. We think it’s an issue and it’s really our issue because it takes a village to be part of the solution,” Pennington said. “So this is one of the solutions that we think will help get people off the streets. We can get them into affordable housing through some of our programs.”

The prototype was built by Gulfport High School STEM students. The majority of the prototype was built from scratch like the welding of the frame, walls, and roof. Harbor Freight also donated funds to make the first tiny bedroom possible.

Pennington said each room costs about $5,000 to build, and churches across the country will help build them. The goal is to start off with 25.

“This one doesn’t have windows. The ones that we build will have windows and solar power, so they can plug in their phone and have their phone charged by solar power. It has lights run by solar power on the inside and outside. It has a front porch and it’s fully transportable.”

According to Pennington, the non-profit will prioritize people that are most at risk on the street. Pennington said there are several people who are dealing with diseases who are in desperate need of shelter. The room would act as a temporary housing until they can get a place of their own.

Back Bay Mission is planning to take the tiny room to different events starting next week. They hope to have some of the rooms up and running in three to five months.

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