Tupelo Salvation Army helps find warm beds for anyone who needs shelter

The area's only homeless shelter puts extra beds out and opens its Community Center during the day when the temperatures drop

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – The Tupelo area’s only homeless shelter is making sure no one has to sleep outside.

Isaac Smith was in the news earlier this week when he signed his letter of intent to play football at MSU. This morning, the IAHS senior was handing out blankets at the Tupelo Salvation Army.

“As a child, I would always ask my mom, ‘what are those people doing on the streets?’ She told me; now I understand and I don’t want to take anything for granted, I’m grateful for everything I have,” Smith said.

Those staying in the Carnation Street Community Center were also grateful. Whenever the temperature goes below 37 degrees, the Salvation Army opens the center throughout the day for anyone who wants to come in, rest up and warm up.

Jamie Nanney made use of the community center early this morning, after spending the night in his homemade shelter, near the Salvation Army.

“When I come in here this morning, they asked if I was alright, they do a lot of good things. For support, for food, and support, they got a lot of good people here and they care,” Nanney said.

Captain Rob Dolby spent part of his morning checking on the few homeless people, like Jamie, who chose to stay outside, or in their car, even in extremely cold weather.

“The city task force was out there with us, making sure those folks were checked up on. There were four or five people, out of those, four were here at the Salvation Army, but there is one who chooses to stay in their car. I got back from checking on them and they’re doing ok,” Dolby said.

Captain Dolby said 74 people spent the night at the shelter, which accommodated the overflow, by putting beds in hallways, so no one was turned away.

“We’re going to continue to check on them, continue to encourage them to come in during the day to warm up and encourage them to come in and take a bed at night time,” Dolby said.

One lady who stayed at the shelter but didn’t want to go on camera, wanted everyone to know she is grateful not only for the shelter but also for the kindness and compassion shown by staff and volunteers at the Salvation Army, throughout the year.

Dolby pointed out that donations to the Red Kettles during the Christmas season, help fund the Salvation Army’s mission.

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