Golden Triangle Homeless Coalition urges volunteers to help at cooling shelters

Temperatures are blazing and that's not good for folks who have to deal with the heat all day long

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Temperatures are blazing and that’s not good for folks who have to deal with the heat all day long. Community organizations are doing what they can to help people that are homeless try and stay cool by opening cooling shelters.

Homelessness is a problem everywhere, even in the golden triangle area.

The Golden Triangle Homeless Coalition saw the need to open cooling shelters in Columbus and two churches, St Stephens United Methodist and Main Street Presbyterian were willing to do so.

However there’s been one issue, the laborers have been few.

“It’s been very difficult for the cooling shelter because we have it during working hours and so everyone on the coalition works as a volunteer basis and then we have a lot of helpful people in the community but we all have jobs,” said volunteer coordinator Mary Thrash.

Main Street Presbyterian opened its doors the week of June 20 through June 25, 2022,  but with no one to man the church house; things didn’t go very smoothly.

“We definitely rely on churches like this and other venues around town that will let us use their space. So last week we had main street Presbyterian so willingly to offer their space but we we’re able to get volunteers to open it consistently and so we’re trying to get ahead of that this week and we’ve had a lot of people in the community reach out,” said Thrash.

Roughly 20 volunteers called the homeless coalition after seeing that the first week didn’t go so well. Social media, word of mouth, and just knowing how hot it was going to be, helped get the community on board.

“It kind of popped a light in people’s head in the community like we have to help out if we’re going to make this work so it was kind of a good and bad thing last week and it’s raised awareness for the need we have,” said Thrash.

Folks that need the cooling shelters aren’t always homeless.

“It’s almost 100 degrees so it’s definitely an important time just for safety and health reasons, but we also have people who are experiencing with their air conditioner and that’s an expensive thing to get fixed,” said Thrash.

St. Stephens United Methodist will be open next week and serving lunch each day.



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