Area has no shelters for cold

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Within the Demopolis Times’ five county coverage area, which includes Marengo, Hale, Sumter, Greene, and Perry counties not a single one of these counties have adequate faculties to house the homeless population of this region from any kind of dangerous situation- freezing cold, starvation, thunderstorms, tornadoes.

In Perry County, there isn’t a shelter of any type, but what they do have involves taking a trip to the local police station. Although the city of Uniontown doesn’t have a shelter for the homeless, they will let the homeless stay in the auditorium at the police station so they can stay warm.

Over in Sumter County, things aren’t any better. Their idea of a homeless shelter is the basement of the local EMA office according to Margaret Bishop, Sumter County Emergency Management Agency Director.

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Livingston has some local churches that help in the fight against homelessness.

Two counties down and three to go and not one of these counties have a shelter for the homeless.

In Greene County, there isn’t anywhere for the homeless to stay. No shelters or soup kitchens or nothing is in Eutaw for these people. Some local churches offer shelter during bad weather, but that’s it.

In Hale County, they don’t have a shelter, but at least someone will take them to a Red Cross shelter were they can get some help.

Hale County also has some local groups that will help from time to time with the homeless.

Finally in Marengo County, there isn’t a shelter here either. What is here is the Demopolis Civic Center that can be used for bad weather situations. But, other than the Civic Center there isn’t a real shelter for the homeless.

The reason we don’t have any homeless shelters in this area is due to one thing. The weather never really gets cold enough here to justify having one.

So, out of five counties in West Alabama, there isn’t a single shelter where the homeless can stay and not have to worry about starving to death or being freezing cold.