Sleep Out for the Homeless continues at Pittman Park in Jackson
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Homelessness continues to be a big problem in the state and in there Capital City.
That’s why on Tuesday, Mississippi Move and other organizations teamed up to help raise awareness about this issue.
At Pittman Park, formerly known as Poindexter Park, the 8th annual Sleep Out to Help the Homeless event is taking place.
Volunteers are trading in their beds to sleep at the park, all in an effort to shine a light on homelessness.
“Majority of folks in Mississippi are probably one or two paychecks away,” said Mac Epps, Executive Director of Mississippi Move, the organization that helped put on this event. “If they lose their job or not having the support system in place. If you don’t have the support system like family and friends, and you don’t have anywhere to go, then you’ll end up on the street. Knowing that’s a reality every day, it’s enough to make you want to do something as long as you are in the position to do so.”
One by one, dozens of people who are without a place to stay, came to the park to get their hands on things such as gloves, hats, and other care packages that they are in need of right now.
Epps said he’s committed to raising awareness and finding solutions to this problem, that’s why he and other volunteers are using this event to connect those who may be homeless with medical services and other resources to help them get on their feet.
“You have a lot of people out here, but you will never know,” said Epps. They’ve had great titles and positions in life, some of them have also been through the systems, and they can tell you their struggles, and how the system failed them, so we learned a lot by being out here.”
“Empathy is one of those things that the world is losing today,” said District 66 State rRepresentative De’Keither Stamps. “I encourage everyone to give back, share, and serve in some way that you can to help people who are less fortunate.”
Rep. Stamps said for him, it’s important to be a part of events like this because it helps him create legislation and policies that could bring solutions to this issue.
“When you spend time out here with the homeless and people who are less fortunate, when you are at the capital, at the table where the decisions are being made, there is a voice there to help people and air their concerns and represent them as well,” said Stamps.
Volunteers will spend Tuesday night sleeping at the park.
on Wednesday morning, there will be a breakfast in the morning at 6:30. Organizers plan to raise awareness on this issue, and they plan to be back out here again next year.
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