Fueled by donations, nonprofit gives hotel rooms to Jackson homeless amid frigid conditions

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 10:21 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - More than a hundred of Jackson’s homeless are off the frigid streets Thursday night thanks to the kindness and generosity of Mississippians from all over the metro, one of many ways the community is reaching out to those affected by this year’s ice storm.

“I’ve been here in Jackson four months. I came from the hospital. And since I’ve been here, I’ve been pretty much homeless living on the streets, place to place,” said Chicago native Tony Allen.

Then someone Allen never met before offered him a hotel room, a temporary solution away from the harshness of the elements.

“It was at the right time. It was at the right time. And I really do appreciate them,” Allen said.

Local nonprofit organization Shower Power has been doing this now for nearly two weeks.

The organization has been helping the homeless since 2019, when the group unveiled a mobile shower truck to help those less fortunate enjoy one of the comforts of home.

“They are forgotten and they shouldn’t be. But we haven’t forgotten them,” said Shower Power founder Teresa Renkenberger. “So they’re our people. We love them and they know [that].”

The group’s already spent almost $50,000 in donations to give hotel rooms over the last twelve days to 122 people as of Thursday afternoon.

The group also bought food and distributed it to each person staying at the OYO Hotel on Gallatin Street.

Operations manager Maryann Kirby says these efforts are already encouraging others to give back, too.

“I just got a message from someone in Atlanta last week that said that she now, because she reads our social media, is helping to take care of a man that is on the corner of her condominium. And she never in a million years would have done that had she not seen it,” Kirby said.

If you would like to donate to the organization, visit Shower Power’s website here.

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