Holly Springs Homeless Shelter Could Be Closing Its Doors

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(Holly Springs, MS) The New Hope Village homeless shelter in Holly Springs, Mississippi is on the verge of closing its doors after its staff learned it won't be getting the annual federal grant it needs to stay operational.

The Emergency Solutions grant was cut as result of mandatory federal budget cuts called sequestration.

The elimination of the grant means up to 200 people a year who use the shelter may soon be back on the street.

"New Hope Village is a place where people come that don't have nowhere to stay."

A resident of the shelter spoke with us but did not want to be identified.

She, her three children, and her fiance have been living at New Hope Village for about three weeks.

She calls the Holly Springs shelter a "blessing" and its executive director, Marilyn Curry, an angel.

"We was actually living in a car. And she has fed us, she's gave us somewhere to stay, she's currently helping me get my kids in school."

The "transitional" shelter opened in 1999 in what used to be the Holly Springs Motel and houses anywhere from 175 to 200 people a year.

John Boyuka is on the Board of Directors and said the shelter offers homeless people a chance to get a fresh start, "And they spend at least 90 days here. And if they have a job we encourage them to save their money so they can get an apartment or rent a house after the 90 days are up."

New Hope Village may soon close its doors altogether after it was learned the shelter will not get the annual $75,000 federal grant it needs to stay operational,

"They've gotten away from the traditional homeless shelters like we are, to where you actually have 'in-house' residences."

Sequestration is to blame for cutting the Emergency Solutions grant.

And new federal and state regulations could require New Hope Village to make drastic changes to get the shelter to meet HUD standards.

John Boyuka said that's something the shelter can't afford, so "It'll probably close around the first of November if we don't get some more financial help."

The shelter, which also has a food pantry and a clothes closet, gets some financial support from Marshall County and the City of Holly Springs.

The hope now is church donations and the private sector can help keep the shelter open for another year.