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Agencies that help house the homeless are asking for help as temps drop

As temperatures begin to drop at night, local organizations start their winter programs to house the homeless, but as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, they are running into a few problems.

Area Relief Ministries has hosted room in the inn for over a decade.

The program gives the homeless a place to stay during winter nights, because Jackson does not have a permanent shelter.

But COVID-19 is causing issues this year.

“Room in the Inn this year is much more difficult we have fewer churches participating due to covid-19", says executive director of ARM, Michael Roby.

ARM usually partners with around 36 churches in the area to feed and house people. This year only 3 churches were able to open their building for the program.

“This year a lot of churches are stretched very thin, they’re not meeting. We get a lot of our support from churches and we still are, thank god, but a lot of them are unable to", adds Roby.

They serve over a dozen men each night, but that number grows to around 40 a night as it gets colder. Roby says they worried about the effects COVID-19 would have on their program since this summer.

“Yea, it worried us throughout the summer approaching winter and that’s why we are so grateful for the three churches that opened their doors.”

Roby says they need all the help they can get from the community by sending food or donations. For 39 News, I’m Imani Williams, in downtown Jackson.

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