Shelters deal with overcapacity in Jackson

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Overcapacity at the shelters is a concern year-round and in the winter months, can be especially hard. Several people in the community are doing what they can do to shelter those in need amid the coronavirus pandemic, and with the restrictions put in place, they’ve extended into the holiday season.

The Opportunity Center on West Amite Street, Jackson’s emergency shelter, currently offers 31 beds. The director told 12 News, they had to significantly cap the number of beds to adhere to the CDC guidelines.

The opportunity center during these winter months is open every night of the week.. until march.

The Gateway Shelter on Gallatin Street, which typically serves a large number of the homeless community in Jackson, had to limit their space for programmers to follow CDC guidelines.

As a result, the Opportunity Center along with the Billy Brumfield Men’s Shelter are the only two under the Stewpot Community Services umbrella, serving at least 1,500 of the homeless community in Jackson.

Christie Burnett, director of the Opportunity Center, told us they have lost a number of the homeless population this year to violence since they had to downsize their capacity in the shelters amid the pandemic.

While it has been a struggle, officials said they are doing the best they can.

The Opportunity Center will be open at 4:30 p.m. every night of the week until March 31.

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