Homeless former educator having difficulty finding emergency shelter

Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 7:06 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Imagine having a decades long career, then suddenly you lose your home, followed by a string of bad luck.

That’s what one Jackson woman says led her to being homeless and unable to find work. The former educator said now her days are filled with finding work and a safe place to lay her head.

“I have been on the street corners asking people for change just so I could get around on the buses,” said Renee Jacobs.

She is a former teacher, and after a fire, she said her home was left uninhabitable.

“I worked in Jackson Public Schools, Madison County Schools, the Canton School District, and my last assignment was in Yazoo City,” said the former educator.

This weekend when temperatures plummeted again, she had no place to stay. The Jackson native is wondering where emergency help is for women on the weekends.

“Several times, myself and another young lady tried to enter the Salvation Army, and each time we went, we were told a different requirement,” said Jacobs. “And it’s not such that I have adequate transportation to try to get back and forth to these places.”

Monday, Jacobs is trying to get to an interview for a job at a restaurant, anything at this point to get back on her feet. Shower Power has provided a hotel room before and an opportunity to prepare for her interview.

“If you’re coming off the streets, you’re not gonna be able to dress for success ‚because you’re looking for a job,” said the Jackson State and Mississippi College graduate.

Salvation Army Major Bill Shafer said the Presto Lane Emergency Shelter is open 24 hours Saturdays and Sundays. He said a caseworker could talk with the homeless about planning a schedule to fit their work hours.

Now in her 50′s, she said she taught STEM and is reminded that anyone can fall on hard times.

“It’s like you’re chasing down a place to get out of the elements, but you know you have no place to go, and you’re just wandering around,” Jacobs added.

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