This morning, the Chamber of Commerce hosted their ‘Gulfport Reports’ event, a community effort and partnership that’s been changing our community for months.
Police Chief Leonard Papania and some of his colleagues saw a commonality and goal in Gulfport to help the homeless in the city.
That’s when Gulfport Police partnered with the Open Doors Homeless Coalition to create the ‘Homeless to Housing Gulfport Hub’ and it’s continued to grow.
It helps give officers the resources they need to find the needs of the homeless instead of leading to arrest.
Thirty-two percent of Gulfport’s homeless population has been housed in the last four months because of this hub.
After retirement, Chief Papania will be taking on a new role within the Open Doors Homeless Coalition so he will still have a hand in this effort. “It’s providing resources to the front lines and the police officers. As a chief of police you always want your people in the field to have what they need to accomplish their job. As a community, as a police department, we looked at the bigger picture and sometimes it’s about solving a human condition and this partnership is really working effectively.”
Feed my Sheep, the Salvation Army, and Goodwill are within this partnership as well, just to name a few.