Purvis non-profit in demand, needs financing - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Purvis non-profit in demand, needs financing

By Mike McDaniel - bio | email | Twitter

PURVIS, MS (WDAM) - "We can't get these homes built soon enough," said Garrett. When Michael Garrett saw a need a few years ago, he immediately went to work, eyeing land on Harold Tucker Road just outside of Purvis. 

"We have hundreds of children right here in South Mississippi that basically, they just need a home," said Garrett, "That's all they need. They need a place they can feel safe and loved."

"That's where his vision, Homes of Hope for Children comes in, a 42 acre $2.5 million non-profit Christian based project aimed to serve children in crisis. A place similar to the one Garrett himself grew up in. 

"I think that the benefits of a ministry like this are just, you can't even calculate it," said Garrett, the executive director.

One thing that is calculated is the project's funding which is lacking about a million dollars for completion.

"We're a debt-free ministry so we don't do anything unless we have the money to do it," said Garrett.

Getting the money is no easy task but board member Bo Pennebaker says luckily there's momentum behind the project.

"The economic climate is not the best for going out and raising funds right now," said Pennebaer. 

"We had a lot of fear, probably as a lot of non-profits had as the economy sank lower and lower and stocks got worse and worse," said Garrett.

Even with an economy not so financially friendly communications director Sarah Dixon says dollars are being stretched and thankfully, some aren't having to be spent at all.

"We're saving a lot of money through volunteers and through businesses who are just donating supplies for buildings," said Dixon.

"You know I think the biggest challenge is just helping other people to understand the need that exists and how we're going to be able to meet that need," said Garrett.

Ground breaking was in March and so far only one building is up.

"You always want to be further along, that's just a natural thing within us, but I believe we're right where god wants us to be," said Garrett.

Once completed, Garrett hopes the campus of cottages and housing will be able to take in 42 children and even though most of the land is still empty, it's not stopping the need.

"We get phone calls on a pretty regular basis from individuals wanting to place kids. The state has called us wanting to place kids here and we're not even built yet," said Garrett.

"The sooner we get facilities in place, the sooner we can start effectively changing lives in a big, big way," said Pennebaker.

A silent and live auction to help with funding the project called "A Taste of Home" will be held Aug. 29 in downtown Hattiesburg at the Cultural Center. For more information you can go to www.hohfc.org or you can call 601-450-1188.

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