By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – Not only does it take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to support a family in crisis or an individual whose life has taken a bad turn.
Crosswind, a nonprofit outreach ministry in Corinth, has been fulfilling that role for families for about two years.
The seeds of the Crosswind’s FAITH ministry – Family and Individual Transitional Housing – were planted when a generous donor contributed an apartment for use by a homeless man who had been spending nights in his car with his dog, parked in the Crosswind parking lot, said Executive Director Bobby Capps.
That apartment was later shared by man who was released from prison with no income and nowhere to go.
“Those were our first two residents,” Capps said, “then we had an additional five apartments donated. In two years we’ve had 17 to 20 families – 81 individuals – 40 adults and 41 children, and 60 percent of them have graduated from the program.”
Graduating means that after coming to Crosswind homeless, jobless and with no transportation to look for a job or get to a job once hired, these individuals and families have become independent, contributing members of society.
“The first big thing we do is help them clear up their old issues,” Capps said. “We’re working with them on employment the whole time, providing transportation for the job hunt. Then once they begin to work, we help manage their money to get things paid off.”
If there are outstanding warrants or court fines, the ministry will serve as a bridge between the individual and authorities to help get back in compliance with whatever situation is holding the client back.
“We help to stabilize them, and the average tenant is with us about four months,” Capps said. “We’ve taken these families from unstable and homeless, put them in a faith-based environment and given them life coaching, counseling, budgeting and other support, to get them back to a stable life situation.”
Client Jessie, 30, was a Pascagoula native and lifelong methamphetamine user who came to Crosswind. After her work with FAITH, Jessie’s life has stabilized, she has earned her Certified Nurses Aid credential and is preparing to enter nursing school in the fall. She’s regained temporary custody of her children, and with Crosswind’s backing and continuing support, expects custody to become permanent.
All that Crosswind has accomplished so far in the FAITH Ministry has been through donations and support of about 25 families of Crosswind, Capp said, but they want to do more and will need community help.
“We’d prefer they live in a more sterile environment, rather than the middle of an apartment complex, so we want to raise capital to build our own residential units,” Capps said. “We’d start with a building with four units, then expand with additional four-unit buildings. With four of these four-unit blocks we think we’ll really be able to handle the need.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION or to donate, contact Crosswind Executive Director Bobby Capps at (662) 287-5600.