On August 16, 2019, the men’s shelter at The Salvation Army of Meridian, Mississippi, returned to operation after a four-month hiatus that was due to a severe staffing shortage. In the intervening time, the vacant facility fell into disrepair. Lt. Tamara Robb, the newly appointed Meridian Salvation Army Corps Officer, took over in June and immediately made it a top priority to get the shelter back up and running. “I had a man come to our door, sunburned and bitten by mosquitoes, who needed a place to stay. I knew with the summer being so hot that we had to get the shelter back open as quickly as possible,” says Lt. Robb.
It’s fair to say that while most people know homelessness exists, few see what it looks like on a daily basis. The Salvation Army works diligently every day to address the problems of homelessness and generational poverty by providing a new direction for people who have lost their way in life. Once again in Meridian, those with nowhere to go have a safe place to turn and the help of people who truly care.
Lt. Robb and her small staff have been working hard over the summer to get the shelter back up and running. With the help of “Love out Loud,” a cooperative ministry with the Baptist church, they began the process of clearing out overgrown landscaping, cleaning, and making small repairs. With the help of generous donations from the public and Habitat for Humanity, the shelter was made ready to serve those in need. It is that service that Lt. Robb is most eager to get back to. “We’re excited to reopen and to give these men a clean and safe place to stay,” says Lt. Robb. “Our goal is not just to give them a place to sleep and a meal, it is to feed them spiritually as well, and to help them find permanent housing,” she says. With the support of the public, The Salvation Army can continue to provide a meal, a clean place to sleep, and the opportunity these men need to make a lasting and positive change in their life.