Sarah Conerly and a few supporters met with McComb city board members Tuesday about the establishment of a homeless shelter.
Conerly has fed and housed the homeless at her home for many years, and earlier this year she took over a ramshackle property and equipped it with beds to move her services out of her house.
At the board’s work session, her group asked if the city might donate a rundown property that could be renovated for use as a shelter, because the building in use now is not sealed and insulated.
They said the tenants at the shelter could work on the building and offer their services to the city to help pay for the building.
That would get the shelter tenants back in the habit of working while volunteers help them do things like get legal identification or learn to manage money.
Conerly has a nonprofit organization to help her collect funds and support her efforts.
“Something has got to be done,” Conerly said. “We all know these people are here, and we have to have some place to put them and give them some help.”
She said helping the homeless in the area would be the Christian thing to do, citing the Gospel of Matthew, 25:40-45, which includes the verse, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Selectman Donovan Hill said he had been working with Canadian National Railway on an agreement to fund and develop a shelter, similar to a project he heard of in Nashville.
Hill offered to let Conerly and her group take over that project.