Salvation Army’s new shelter with family apartments set to open soon
TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – The area’s only homeless shelter will soon be able to take in families with no roof over their heads.
Nearly two years ago, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a new, larger shelter at Tupelo’s Salvation Army.
Now, the Jim Ingram Red Shield Lodge is almost complete.
“This will allow us to more than double the capacity of the shelter,” said Major Jeff Daniel, who pointed out highlights of the new building.
There is a secure, front entrance, where each person is screened. Men are taken to the left side, women to the right. The men’s dorm has space for 25, while the women’s side can sleep 20.
The biggest advantage over the old space is dedicated apartments for families. There are a total of five family units.
Major Daniel said not having spaces for families has been an issue.
“If a single mother with children comes in and they’re all females and we have room they’re able to stay on the women’s side of the lodge, but if she has male children, if they are under 10 they can stay with the women, but once they get to be 10 or older, it’s not fair to the children, nor other women clients, so then, there’s really no place for them to go,” said Maj. Daniel.
There have been some delays with the project, among them, weather and engineering studies.
But Major Daniel said the Salvation Army wants to be sure everything is done right the first time, and resources that have been donated, are used wisely.
“The Salvation Army has done this in numerous communities and they know and learned from experience problems that arise and the importance is they build a facility that is going to be the longest lasting and most economic to operate and best to serve the community,” Daniel said.
The $3 million price tag also included renovations to the chapel, administrative space being converted to classrooms for kids and there will be a major overhaul and expansion of the kitchen and gym. Those projects will start after the new shelter is opened.
Major Daniel said a celebration marking the opening of the new shelter should take place in early June.
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