Community organizations, homeless people speak on conditions in Jackson

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Homelessness was front and center for some touring shelters in the city and for others who were just going about their day.

However, some don’t think enough is being done to help.

WJTV talked to some homeless people living in Jackson and they say a lot of the times, they feel like there’s literally nowhere for them to go.

This group is working to provide that very help they say they need.

“It’s rough out here for us because every time we turn around, we are getting harassed by JPD or other law enforcers,”

Jermain Powell says the life of a homeless person in Jackson is a life of hopelessness that often results in a feeling of isolation.

“That’s all of us feel. I speak for myself and the rest of them, that’s how we all feel. We will go to the shelter but we have to be out around 5 o’clock in the morning and we don’t have anywhere to go after that point in time. So we go down to the bus station or to the JTRAN Station,” said Powell.

According to the Continuum of Care, a coalition of organizations that serve the homeless, there were close to 300 homeless men and women spotted in downtown Jackson this past January.

Some citizens say their presence is unwanted.

“People don’t feel safe here because they are constantly harassed for money, others have been robbed. If they would come in and use the facilities and just move on, then that’s fine, but they are not doing that. They are hanging around; they are asking for cigarettes, asking for money and selling things.”

“They are people. Sometimes we get caught up in judgment when these people just need help,” said Mary Manogin, an organizer of Community Development Week.

Manogin organized a bus tour through the city of Jackson that works to educate the public on the issue of homelessness in the city and what they can do to help.

“It’s really refreshing to know that we have all these organizations that come together and work really hard to help that forgotten the population,” said Manogin.

“There are services out there but it’s just a matter of connecting people with those services and making sure what we are providing what they need,” Heather Ivery of Stewpot Community Services.

The tour was a part of Jackson’s Community Development week.

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