About 200 people attended this year’s Project Homeless Connect in Biloxi, which brings together social service agencies, non-profits, medical providers, and others to provide a variety of services for the homeless – from hair cuts, to clothes, to a hot meal. There was even a veterinarian to check out their pets.
Eneaus Polk is staying with friends in Biloxi. An Army veteran, he learned about the annual event from fellow veterans.
"Going through hard times right now and I'm trying to get assistance with different things," he says. "So I heard about this place, so I'm trying to get some assistance."
Paul Sellers says he's been living in the woods for about eight years.
"We get clean things, I'm fixing to go back here and get a sleeping bag," he says. "We got a camp stove. We had some young kids come in camp and stole our camp stoves. I found one of them, and now we have another one."
Mary Simons is executive director of the Open Doors Homeless Coalition, which organizes Project Homeless Connect. She says she hopes it also gives attendees a chance to learn about the services available in the community.
"So many people get disconnected from primary care, they get disconnected from medical care," she says. "This lets them know there are organizations that can help them and will help them throughout the year."
Simons says that on any given night, there are around 200 to 300 people living outside on the Gulf Coast.