Homeless in Hancock County a Growing Concern Among Katrina
From: Kathleen Johnson - Katrina Relief Filed 11/7/07
(Editor's Note: Kathleen Johnson has been
working as a Katrina recovery volunteer in Hancock County since shortly
after the hurricane)
Its a bigger issue than most want to admit to. Hancock County is not
all about those million dollar homes that used to be on the beach.
There is no homeless shelter (and there was not one before the storm),
there is no halfway house for families who lose housing here for a variety
of reason, there is no halfway house for young pregnant teens or young
pregnant adults, there is no halfway house for those released from prison
and transported here on release. Isn't it time we stood up and admitted
that this is at crisis proportions?
is the picture of a place in Hancock County that is housing up to eight
homeless people a night - its a pump house. I took the photograph
yesterday as I was out doing a social service work call with someone from
the Food Pantry.
We have people still living in tents, in cars, and gutted out homes. Given
the magnitude of the problem with the lack of affordable housing - this
problem is impacting even our office as we deal more and more with social
service work along with recovery issues.
Where do we send these referrals? And a bus ticket out of town, as offered
as advice from one source, is not a Christian solution. Most of these
people had homes and apartments before the storm and were contributing
participants of this community. But so many are falling between the
(228) 344-8616 (C)
The Interfaith Disaster
Task Force knows this is a huge issue. Local churches are seeing more and
more people coming to their doors daily who are homeless or on the verge
There is an Open Doors
Homeless Coalition that meets on November 15 at 10:00 a.m. at WIN Job
center on Hwy 49 in Gulfport. They meet on the 3rd Thursday at 10:00
a.m. They would welcome anyone who wants to work on this issue.