It’s common during the winter days to see shelters open for the homeless to escape the cold. The Salvation Army continues its push to bring a shelter to the Coast that goes beyond emergency weather housing. The Salvation Army is working on building the Center of Hope off Highway 49 in Gulfport. It will be a more permanent type of shelter where up to 100 people can stay temporarily until they are able to support themselves. Major Gary Sturdivant with the Salvation Army said, “I can’t imagine trying to live outside and also trying to have a job and take care of my family and that sort of thing. So, we’re trying to make it a little easier on folks to get back on their feet.”
The already designed three story building will have short and long term rooms, a job center to help people find work, and other resources for those who are looking to overcome homelessness. Right now, the project is at a standstill. The entire Center of Hope project will cost $5.7 million. The Salvation Army had those funds secured but when they were asked to move from their 24th Avenue location, they purchased the land, setting them back $1.2 million. “I know that there are folks out there that really care for others and if you have some money that you would really like to see put to good use, where we’re doing the most good with your contribution, then please reach out to the Salvation Army,” said Sturdivant.
Once the funds are secured, the Salvation Army estimates the Center of Hope could be built in one year. Until then, they are working diligently to meet with potential donors to raise the $1.2 million so they can break ground and provide hope for those looking to get back on their feet.
The Salvation Army’s Fresh and Clean Program, as well as their family store and main headquarters, will also be moving to the property that the Center of Hope will sit on.