Page 41 - Giving Back Guide - 2022
P. 41

 Reshaping Foster Care
 story and photos courtesy of Elijah’s Closet
Mississippi families can face a number of obstacles when creating homes for their children. One of these obstacles
is the provision of basic necessities such as clothing, shoes, and beds. Some situations warrant the separation of
a child from their biological family
and the child is placed with a foster family. Many times children will arrive to the foster home with no personal belongings. Elijah’s Closet (EC) exists to fill these gaps.
The focus at EC is to prevent the removal of children from their biological families, assist in quick reunification processes, and equip foster parents with items for first time placements. EC became a 501(c)(3)- 509(a)(2) Public Charity on February 14, 2018. The organization worked its way up from operating out of a single storage unit, to two units, to three, to eventually renting a building in North Gulfport. The opportunity was made
possible by Michael Memorial Baptist Church and Harbor Properties. From the beginning of our creation to present day, it is through partnerships like these and community donations that have provided EC the platform to become so successful.
To date, the organization has been able to help 325 families and 551 children on the Gulf Coast. Last month, EC assisted 43 families and 87 children. The leaders of EC foresee these numbers growing due to the overturn of Roe v. Wade that occurred in June of this year. While the access to abortion in Mississippi has stopped, the number of families needing assistance increases. EC recognizes
this impending truth and aims to continue growing and expanding to accommodate the resources that will be needed to provide for the families and children of Mississippi.
The organization’s predominant need as of today is a larger building. EC is
seeking a new location within Harrison County for its operations. The closer
to the organization’s partners off Exit
38 (Cowan/Lorraine Road) the better, but the board is open to any and all ideas. EC’s current home has treated the community very well. The organization has outgrown its walls and requires more room to accommodate not only the current needs but the anticipated future needs of our community. If
you would like to discuss this matter further, you can reach out directly to EC’s president, Nikki Williams, at nikki.
For a list of items the organization accepts, please visit their website. EC serves the Gulf Coast and Pine Belt areas.
Elijah’s Closet
14120 John Clark Rd., Gulfport 228.263.2209
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