JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, Mississippi Moves hosted a Homeless Are Human Too press conference at Pitman Park in hopes of bringing awareness to some of the problems homeless people face every day.
“How cold you get, how hungry you get, how thirsty you get, how you don’t have a proper place to go use the restroom or wash up… Most of the people out here don’t have a place to stay not only because they are not physically able, but they need help,” said community organizer Mac Epps.
Epps said many people don’t help the homeless because they don’t take the time to hear their stories. Jermaine Powell said he quit his job in Memphis to take care of his mother here in Jackson, but found himself on the street after she passed away.
“I wound up here. I came to take care of my mom. She passed away on my birthday. So, I ended up in this situation. So, I’m just praying to the good Lord to take me out this situation,” said Powell.
Pitman Park is an area where many homeless people sleep, yet Epps said there are no restrooms or showers and the water fountains stopped working years ago. Now, he and other community members are calling on the city to put more resources toward the homeless.
“People are sleeping under the bridge to avoid the shelter, but you would spend money to build a fence to prevent the homeless from getting out of the shelter, versus spending money to make sure that we provide resources. There are so many places, so many hotels out here that we could have utilized those funds for,” said Epps.
Local pastors, community leaders and State Representative De’Keither Stamps all attended the event. Representative Stamps said issues surrounding homelessness will be addressed soon.
“Those are some of the thing that will be addressed in the next legislative session. Mental health resources and community resources for organizations like these to help do those tangible life skills that folks need,” said Rep. Stamps.
On January 8, Mississippi Move will be back at Pitman Park to host a resource day where people will be able to get everything from their vitals checked to information about expungements.