Video: Tupelo Salvation Army Kicks Off Public Phase Of Capital Campaign

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TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – The only homeless shelter in Northeast Mississippi has launched the public phase of a capital campaign.
As WCBI’s Allie Martin reports, the ministry has unveiled renovation and expansion plans that will help better meet the needs of the homeless and hungry.

If anyone knows about the crowded conditions at the Salvation Army, it’s Marcus Burcham.

Burcham has lived at the Salvation Army men’s lodge for two months now. During the day he is a volunteer at the Carnation Street facility and Monday morning, he acted as a tour guide, telling visitors how the ministry is helping him get back on his feet.

“They’ve given me a place to stay, they feed me, I’ve been able to get clothes on my back,” Burcham said.

But Burcham also knows that the Salvation Army has to turn people away everyday, because there simply isn’t enough room for those who need help.

To help better meet the needs of the homeless and hungry, the Salvation Army kicked off the public phase of its capital campaign, called “Hope and a Future.”

Plans call for a new shelter that will accommodate 23 men and 17 women. There will also be several rooms for families.

“It’s not unusual we have families who come, generally they’re single women with children , we try to accommodate them the best we can, but depends on age and sex of children,” said Maj. Jeff Daniel.

Right now, many families have to be turned away and for those in the women’s dorm, space is also an issue.

“It will help us a lot if they can expand the building, right now we’ve very overcrowded,” said Vickie Hannah, a resident of the Salvation Army.

More than half of the 2 point 2 million dollars has been raised, and the city has agreed to kick in 500 thousand dollars, over a five year period.

“We, here in Tupelo and the south , pride ourselves on being a Christian region, you can say we’re the buckle of the Bible belt, campaigns like this allow us to put that Christian spirit into action,” said Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton.

“It is something we have needed to do for awhile but it takes organization to work that through, people need to feel like it’s been well vetted, that they understand what the money is going to go toward, it will be something our community needs to do and we will be proud of it when it gets built,” said Jack Reed Jr., co chairman of the capital campaign.

The new shelter will be located where this vacant lot is now, just east of the community center. Groundbreaking ceremonies could take place early next year.

Construction should be complete by this time next year.

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