JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Reverend McRay Johnson and some of his fellow pastors have a lofty goal to attain. On Saturday morning, they cut the ribbon and broke ground at the same time, to prove they mean business.
The goal is to transform the interior of an old family medical practice at 4304 Highway 80 West in Jackson, into a homeless shelter with 30 to 50 beds.
"We have a few beds. We've been sending out letters for people to donate beds, materials, spreads, quilts, coats, clothes, whatever they have," McRay says.
We asked him how the $580,000 project was being funded. "Right now we're on our own," he says. Currently, the pastors and their congregations are relying on good old-fashioned fund raising to renovate examining rooms into bedrooms, and build bathrooms and a kitchen.
They also want to offer skills training to the underprivileged. "The purpose is to transition them back into society, so they're gonna offer life skills, GED courses, landscaping, different things like that," says committee member Chamon Williams.
"We are partnering with Hinds Community College. They're gonna let us bring them in for a price to offer them different skills," McRay says.
Reverend Johnson is finalizing the purchase of the space, and all of the land behind it, so the shelter can be expanded.
The plan is to open before springtime, to fill a need that seems to grow bigger every year in Jackson.
"We've been getting calls this morning and yesterday. Those really ready to get off the street, those are the ones we're targeting right now," McRay says.
To learn more about the shelter, call Love, Charity, Hope Homes Inc. at 601-813-4714.
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