Making a Difference: The Wingard Home - - Jackson, MS

Making a Difference: The Wingard Home

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Wingard Home sits on a corner in the 1200 block of North West Street in Jackson. It is a spacious building with lots of room inside. And usually it houses lots of people; people who call this house "home" at least temporarily.

Charlotte Wingard is half of the husband-wife ministry team who runs the home. Charlotte is the house director among other things.  She says the approach Wingard Home takes toward ministering to the homeless who come under their care is restorative in nature.

"Because our passion is to get people back in the work force, and back out there in the world producing," said Charlotte Wingard. 

Charlotte says the face of the homeless has changed with the times.

"The homeless situation in Jackson is a lot more family now than it is individual," added Charlotte. "It's a lot of younger people. People that are not trained properly through high school and they get out on their own and they fail. And a lot of it now has to do more than with drugs and alcohol, it has to do with bad choices in business and credit cards and gambling; bad decisions."  

Consequently, the people staying at Wingard Home aren't necessarily what come to mind when you try to picture "the homeless."

"We take fathers with children, mothers with children, we take married couples. We take mothers with older children that nobody else will take," explained Charlotte. 

In 2012 they took 95 women, 103 men and 54 children, from a dozen racial and ethnic groups. With the idea to take them, help them turn their lives around and get them back in the world again.

"By learning to work a job, to produce an income, to be able to bless others and to take care of themselves. And if we can teach that, and teach people to be legal citizens, to do right, to live right and to give back to society instead of take from society," said Charlotte. 

And in doing that, Wingard Home is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of people a year, and a difference in the communities they move back into after they leave Wingard Home.

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