Posted on Sep 03, 2018
President Jamie Mitchell presided over the meeting. He reminded members that Denny Bubrig has shirts and hats available. Denny noted that anyone who ordered apparel in the first order will need to pick the order up within the next week or two or the products will go back into inventory. The second order should be available within the next week or so.
Scott Hummel gave today’s invocation. Mark Killingsworth led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Thanks to Jamie Mitchell and Faye Gilbert who served as our greeters today.
Brandon Hodges then introduced today’s visitors. Tracie Fowler has Michaela Harper as her guest. Michaela is interested in applying for membership. Steve Caspel is a guest of Mark Killingsworth and Russ Hendley is a guest of Chris Dunkley.
Jamie then invited Mike McPhail and Cole Gressett to come forward. Mike sponsored Cole as the club’s newest member. He was inducted into the club today. Cole is a relationship manager associate with Trustmark.
Paula Brahan then introduced today’s guest speaker. Kim Townsend is the City of Hattiesburg’s first Homeless Coordinator. Her position was approved in February 2016. Her goals in this position are to meet the chronic homeless in Hattiesburg where they are, build relationships with them, and then connect those in need to the resources that are available to help them.
A chronic homeless person is someone who has been without a home for at least one year or been homeless for 365 days over a period of time. As a part of the Coalition on Homelessness and Volunteers, Kim goes out weekly to meet and talk to the homeless in an effort to build a trusting relationship. A total of 132 chronic homeless individuals were identified in Forrest County by the January 2018 official count. Kim says she knows there are more, but the snapshot count gives a reasonable estimate of the total number of homeless in our area.
There are several identified causes for homelessness. Those include poverty, the lack of employment, the lack of affordable housing, family dynamics, tragic life occurrences, mental illness and addiction.
If you encounter a person who appears to be having a mental breakdown or if you, your family or your employees are being threatened, you can call 911 and ask for the Crisis Intervention Team. Officers trained in this type of response will respond.
If you encounter a homeless person, Kim says to be kind, say hello, smile, don’t be afraid to say you can’t help if you can’t, give freely if you give cash (don’t give conditionally), and offer knowledge.
She suggests that you be yourself, listen, practice discernment, proceed with caution and kindness and read their body language. Things you should not do during the encounter is to invade their space and don’t feel pressured into action.
Ways you can help include donating to the people and agencies that are working with the homeless. Volunteer your time and/or services to help these agencies, pack care bags, donate supplies and communicate what you see.
If you see a person who appears to be homeless contact Kim and she will follow up. Her phone number is 601-325-0503 and her email address is
With no other business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned by Jamey with our motto, “Service Above Self.”