College students serve homeless in Jackson

By Dawn McGinley
JACKSON – Volunteers from Mississippi State University’s Catholic Campus Ministry have started traveling to Mississippi’s capital city once a month to meet with and visit the homeless. “The project was inspired by our trip to the SEEK Conference in San Antonio, Tx in January 2017. There was a group at the conference named Christ in the City from Denver, Colorado,” explained Dawn McGinley, campus minister at Starkville St. Joseph Parish. “Their goal is to talk to the homeless – to connect with them and help them to see they have dignity. This inspired our group, so that is our goal. We bring relief bags which include basic necessities such as socks, lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, underwear, tissues, etc.,” she added.
The college students and St. Joseph parishioners have also formed a group that gets together every Monday night to recycle plastic grocery sacks into sleeping mats. The bags are flattened and cut and then crocheted or knitted together to form a mat a homeless person can use.
“We normally meet people at Smith Park but it has been closed for a few months,” said McGinley. “We are in the process of reorganizing our approach,” she said.