by Alex Melnick
Two Stewpot shelters are in danger of ceasing operations Nov. 25, due to changes in federal funding and United Way Grants. Stewpot has contacted Mayor Tony Yarbor and the Jackson City Council for aid in funding for both Matt’s House, which temporarily shelters women and children and is responsible for 100 percent of the shelter space for the women and children in Jackson, and The Billy Brumfield Shelter, which is an emergency shelter for 70 percent of all homeless men in Jackson. Matt’s House is a transitional living facility that assists women that need to seek refuge due to abusive or otherwise dangerous domestic situations, and helps over 300 Jackson women a year find safety, shelter, and new lives. The women receive two meals and shelter for the night when they stay at Matt’s House, in addition to aid in finding new employment and housing.
The Billy Brumfield house was named for a homeless man in Jackson who died of hypothermia while sleeping in his car in 1987. Sheltering up to 60 men a day, it provides a safe refuge for the night, drug and alcohol rehab, AA meetings, therapy, and employment aid. The shelter also helps those with disabilities apply for federal grants and find stable, accessible homes
With winter quickly approaching, these shelters closing present a dire situation for the homeless of Jackson. Without facilities like Matt’s House and the Billy Brumfield house, a majority of those without stable residence in Jackson will be forced to endure the cold. . According to Stewpot’s website, its shelters assist at least 650 individuals a day, and the impending closings will 75 potential beds from Stewpot’s available spaces. Millsaps College has close connections with Stewpot, , as many students have completed a Community Engaged Learning course, worked with Matt’s House specifically as Wellspringers, (a course with a specific site for community engagement relating to the course’s materials) or aided Stewpot via Greek philanthropy. Millsaps students should recall that the Take Back the Night’s clothing drive supports Matt’s House every year. With their clothing donations, Millsaps students have helped women achieve new lives through a new wardrobe since many women and children are forced to leave behind everything they own when leaving an abusive situation. With the clothing collected at Take Back the Night’s clothing drive, the women of Matt’s House were able to assemble professional and polished outfits for job interviews, court cases, and whatever else obstacle they had to face in order to rebuild their lives.
Millsaps students should recall that the Take Back the Night’s clothing drive supports Matt’s House every year. With their clothing donations, Millsaps students have helped women achieve new lives through a new wardrobe. since many women and children are forced to leave behind everything they own when leaving an abusive situation.
To help Stewpot, Jackson residents can contact the Hinds County Supervisors or the Jackson City Council (all contact info is on this Stewpot webpage), or donate directly to Stewpot.