FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council has begun clearing out a homeless encampment area in Forrest County.
Hub City leaders created a two-part plan to help clean up the community and improves the lives of the homeless. First they cleared the area near Walmart on U.S. 49. Now, they are working on finding housing for those individuals.
Out of the 16 found living at the camp site, 12 have signed initial paperwork with the Mississippi United to End Homelessness organization to find shelter.
Cynthia Young, director of Field House for the Homeless, said that getting people out of the camps and into a shelter is life changing.
"It takes a toll on people physically, mentally, spiritually," Young said. "We see life's changed, transformed, as they come out of the woods."
Field House for the Homeless offers food, shelter and laundry to those in need. The shelter is currently under renovation and plans on creating a woman's only shelter in the future.
"We hear horror stories everyday of things that happen in the woods," Young said. "I have not talked to a woman that has not been assaulted, sexually or physically."
Young asks the community to donate to the shelter. She said even something small like stopping by to pray can make a big difference.
Field House for the Homeless is located at 5712 Hwy 42.