TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Joseph Shows spent part of his Monday morning helping out at the Salvation Army’s Carnation Street complex.
Shows has spent the past four nights here, since he arrived in Tupelo from Hattiesburg. He came here to be closer to his family and baby boy.
On most days, the Salvation Army requires residents of its lodge , like Shows, to pound the pavement, looking for work, but since the temperatures have dropped below freezing, that rule has been waived.
“It’s pretty good, stay in the warmth, that weather, it’s pretty rough out there,” Shows said.
The lodge is always full, but when the temperatures take a drastic dip, more people seek shelter. There are 19 beds in the shelter. Thirty men are staying here, some are sleeping on mattresses set up in the gym area. All of the women are being housed at another location.
“We’re busy,” said Maj. Sue Dorman, who supervises a staff of eight, who run this shelter and other programs. They also provide three meals a day for residents and anyone who is hungry.
Along with providing meals and shelter, the Salvation Army also provides clothing . And as the temperature drops, more people need basic items, like socks and warm coats.
It all means extra work for a staff that’s already stretched thin.
“With the manpower that we have to put extra manpower, we need the money to pay the people to service our clients,” Maj. Dorman said.
Still, Dorman says as long as anyone needs shelter, the Salvation Army’s doors will be open. For Shows , and others facing tough times, that’s a huge relief.
“Thank God these people are here to help us, in time of need,” Shows said.
The Salvation Army will allow people to stay in its facilities during the day as long as temperatures are below 40 degrees.