Fieldhouse for the the Homeless in need of extra assistance

Hattiesburg, Miss. - Hattiesburg's Fieldhouse for the Homeless is in need of help.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, there are three types of homelessness:

  • Chronic Homelessness: Persons most like the stereotyped profile of the “skid-row” homeless, who are likely to be entrenched in the shelter system and for whom shelters are more like long-term housing rather than an emergency arrangement. These individuals are likely to be older, and consist of the “hard-core unemployed”, often suffering from disabilities and substance abuse problems. Yet such persons represent a far smaller proportion of the population compared to the transitionally homeless.

  • Transitional Homelessness: Transitionally homeless individuals generally enter the shelter system for only one stay and for a short period. Such persons are likely to be younger, are probably recent members of the precariously housed population and have become homeless because of some catastrophic event, and have been forced to spend a short time in a homeless shelter before making a transition into more stable housing. Over time, transitionally homeless individuals will account for the majority of persons experiencing homelessness given their higher rate of turnover.

  • Episodic Homelessness: Those who frequently shuttle in and out of homelessness are known as episodically homeless. They are most likely to be young, but unlike those in transitional homelessness, episodically homeless individuals often are chronically unemployed and experience medical, mental health, and substance abuse problems.

Fieldhouse Co-Director, Cynthia Young, said Hattiesburg mainly has a large population of transitional homelessness. "When everyone walks through the doors of the Fieldhouse, the first thing we do is to make sure they feel good, physically and mentally. Because we find a lot of mental illnesses and people are sick,"

Fieldhouse provides a mailing address and postal service for homeless people who lives in the woods and inside the shelter facility.

“Everyday people come in, check their mails, and its sort of a way us to keep in touch with them to make sure that they’re okay if we don’t see them for a couple of days...we’ll come and look for them,” Young said.

The postal service is just one way to help those in need to get back on their feet.

“We have two days a week where we take them to the Win Job Center, and they are required to apply for a certain number of jobs every week if they are able to work," Young said.

The number of homeless people in need of service has doubled over the past year. According to Young, the numbers have increased from 750 to 1500 people over the course of a year.

“We need support, we need support from the city, from our churches and just from individuals that love the Lord, love God’s people," Young said.

The Fieldhouse team wants to remind people to share God's love, give hope and to remember those in need.

"Our fundraiser project will be going on for the next couple of months, the ideal is based off the Bible verse Matthew 25...and for the next couple of months we're going to try to raise funds so we can assist all the things going on at the field house," Executive Board Member, Terrence Taylor, said.

To learn more about the Fieldhouse for the Homeless click here.

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