A conglomerate ministry set up to assist people in crisis has moved from Highway 12 closer to the downtown area.
Helping Hands Ministries of Oktibbeha County will now operate on University Drive next to St. Josephâ€™s Catholic Church.
Formed in 1998, the ministry was previously located in the building plaza belonging to Synergetics Diversified Computer Services, which charged the organization $225 for the space.
On University Drive, however, Helping Hands will not have to pay rent, because St. Josephâ€™s pastor, Father John Bohn, who owns the space, is letting its staff operate there for free.
â€śThe rent was not high at all,â€ť Elaine Baker, Helping Hands President, said, â€śbut that money can now be used to pay someoneâ€™s electric bill.â€ť
Since its beginning, Helping Hands has worked with local non-profit groups such as the Salvation Army, Community Counseling and the Oktibbeha County Health Department to offer people in desperate situations financial assistance, such as rent, utility payments, food vouchers and motel rooms.
Vice-president Claudette Horanburg said that working for Helping Hands has opened her eyes to the needs of others.
â€śWhen you see what some of these people live on, how they pay bills and live their daily lives, you feel really blessed,â€ť Horanburg said. â€śWeâ€™d love to do more for people in need, but we have to spread costs out the best way we can,â€ť she said.
Dependent on donations from United Way, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, community service organizations, churches and individuals, Helping Hands encourages members of its local community to contribute.
Tax-deductible donations may be sent to: HHMOC, P.O. Box 2102, Starkville, MS 39760.