HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Old man winter is still hanging around in South Mississippi, which is one of the reasons why the Salvation Army opened its doors in Laurel.
“As I’ve been watching the news over the last few days, this cold has really affected our nation overall. There have been many stories about people who actually died as a result of being in the cold,” the Salvation Army’s social program coordinator, Van Williams said. “During cold spells when the temperature gets below thirty-two degrees, we open our doors to what we refer to as our warming station.”
This station houses community members who don't have a place to stay with warm heating.
“They have a forty bed shelter and also a warming station. So, that's where we direct people to go,” the executive director for the Jones County Emergency Management Agency, Marda Tullos said.
The Jones County Emergency Management Agency says they will continue to direct people to the Salvation Army.
“People don't always understand what it is that we are doing but during these times… we really need people to come and assist us with our warming station,” Williams said. “Presently, we have one volunteer. He has been very faithful and dedicated to the work, but more volunteers are needed.”
In the meantime, the Salvation Army will continue pushing forward to help residents in the community.
“We're not doing it for the 'thank you,' but we're doing it to help our fellow man,” Williams said. “As the Salvation Army, we are always striving to do the most good.”
The Salvation Army’s shelter and warming station will be open at 5PM Tuesday and close at 6:30AM Wednesday. The Salvation Army says they will continue this operation throughout the current stage of cold weather.