Lt. Brian Hicks can only hope the community will be as generous as a 10-year-old boy who, for the second year in a row, will donate birthday money he received to the county’s only homeless shelter.
The shelter, Red Shield Lodge, was built in 1976. Though a leaking roof has been fixed, the leaks damaged drywall throughout the building. When the drywall is pulled out, contractors have told Hicks, they expect to find other damage because of the building’s age.
Electrical and plumbing work also are needed. Hicks is still securing estimates on repair costs.
“We’re just hoping and praying the community’s going to step up beside us and get it all done,” Hicks told the Sun Herald. “The entire building needs a complete overhaul.”
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The shelter has 40 beds for men, women and families. It also serves three meals a day to an average of 100 people.
The 10-year-old boy has this year raised $500 for the shelter through a GoFundMe page and a big birthday party. Last year, he raised about $275. He wanted to remain anonymous because he does not want people to think he raised the money for publicity.
Rather, he has seen the homeless in Jackson County and wants to do something to help. His mom said she suggested the Salvation Army is a worthwhile organization that does a lot to help the homeless.
“It’s so great,” Salvation Army spokeswoman Morgan Shiyou said. “I think it has a lot to do with his parents, the parents raising him the right way and making him aware of the situation to begin with; him seeing the need for it and having the heart to do that.”
How to help
Donations for repairs to the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Lodge can be mailed to the lodge at P.O. Box 630, Pascagoula MS 39581. The lodge is Jackson County’s only homeless shelter. Its soup kitchen provides three meals a day.