Posted on Sep 15, 2017
Meeting September 12, 2017
President Paula Brahan presided over the meeting. Thanks to Kathryn Anthony who gave the invocation and to Paula Brahan who led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Thanks to Mary Cromartie and Tracie Fowler for serving as our greeters today.
Today’s cash winner was Allen Anderson.  Paula reminded members to bring extra cash to future meetings and participate in the weekly cash give-away. . 
Sean Priebe sat in for Mike Ratliff and introduced today’s guests.  Colby Sappington is a guest of Jaclyn Adams and Bill Dabney is a guest of the club who submitted his membership application today.
Sean then introduced today’s guest speaker, Paige Kennedy. Paige has worked for the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District (SMPDD) for more than 24 years.
SMDPP began its operations in 1967, celebrating more than 50 years of service to the 15 southern-most counties in the state. There are 38 municipal governments within those 15 counties served by the District. Funding for the services provided come from local, state and federal sources. Paige noted that they are trying to find alternative, private funding sources for the future.
The District has three major focus areas. They are Economic Workforce Development, Area Agency on Aging and the MAC Center.
Economic Workforce Development services include workforce development programs assisting both job seekers and employers in fulfilling employment and training needs. They also manage a Senior Community Service Employment Program to financially assist employable people 55 and older who are actively looking for gainful employment. They also provide GIS Mapping and Printing services for the region.
The Area Agency on Aging serves as the public advocate for the development and implementation of comprehensive and coordinated home and community based care systems responsive to the current needs.
The MAC Center is a place where people can get unbiased information and assistance in locating services and support. The MAC Center tries to serve as an information and referral service provider. Paige recommended that we remember their phone number because we or someone we know may soon need this type of service. MAC can be reached by calling 1-844-822-4622.
The SMPDD district has provided more than $3.8 million dollars in direct services to Forrest and Lamar Counties so far this year.
Paige then introduced Cynthia Young who represents the Fieldhouse for the Homeless after noting that the City of Hattiesburg this year is on record as the city in our state with the highest number of homeless. The Fieldhouse is a day shelter for many of those assisting them in getting identification, locating their Social Security or Disability payments, counseling, rehabilitation referral and hopefully helping them find a place to live and a job.
Cynthia noted that the homeless population in our area is growing quickly. They have distributed more than 30,000 meals this year, helped 200 of them obtain state identification cards and provided services to 17 homeless children staying in our area.
The Fieldhouse is kicking off their Matthew 25:40 campaign this year asking for the public’s assistance. “ “As you did it to one of the least of these by brothers, you did it to me.” The Fieldhouse needs cash, gift cards, tents, toothbrushes, baby furniture, clothing, bedding and just about anything a person would need to survive.
If you’re interested in giving or getting involved, call 601-336-4055.
Paula thanked our speakers today and with no other business or announcements she adjourned the meeting with our motto, “Service Above Self."