1981, representatives from seven churches in Jackson, Mississippi
came together across denominational lines, to discuss a problem
they all had in common - meeting the consistent requests for food and assistance
from downtown Jackson's poor and homeless. These seven churches
- Calvary Baptist, Capitol Street Methodist, Central Presbyterian,
Galloway United Methodist, St. Andrew's Episcopal, St. Peters'
Catholic and St. James Episcopal - came together and created what
is known today as Stewpot Community Services.
original Stewpot was located on West Capitol Street in an old
service station. From its beginning, Stewpot was housed in Central
Presbyterian Church on West Capitol, on the western edge of downtown
Jackson. When the church closed its doors in 1992, the Presbytery
of Mississippi entered into an agreement, which essentially donated
the property to Stewpot. In honor of Central Presbyterian Church,
the property is now known as the Central Urban Ministry Center.
its nativity, the goal of Stewpot has been to promote, develop,
stimulate and encourage physical and spiritual development by
providing nutritious meals to the community. The Stewpot kitchen was a success
almost instantly. The Community Kitchen provides a noontime meal
to anyone - no questions asked - seven days a week, 365 days a year. In 1982, the
success of the soup kitchen inspired the establishment of a Food
Pantry. This mini-grocery store provides a four-day emergency
supply of food for carefully screened applicants.
1983, a survey conducted by social service organizations in Jackson
indicated the city's greatest need was shelter for homeless women
and children. Stewpot accepted the challenge to provide such a shelter, and opened Sims House, so named in honor of one of its greatest contributors, as a transitional
shelter for homeless women and children. While
at Sims House, residents must get a job, participate in group
and individual therapy with a licensed family counselor, help
with chores around the house, and learn about financial planning
and wise money management.
Billy Brumfield House, named for a homeless man who died of hypothermia
while sleeping in an old, abandoned car, began operation in December
of 1987. Located in an old fire station on Gallatin Street, the
shelter came into existence through the combined efforts of the
city of Jackson, Stewpot, and the Homeless Coalition. The Billy
Brumfield House provides shelter for up to 50 men per night, and
its services are divided into three different programs: a homeless
program, a drug-work transitional program, and a special needs
1992, Stewpot witnessed an increasing number of women and children
utilizing its shelters. Because of this, Stewpot established Matt's
House as an emergency, overnight shelter for women and children.
The shelter is called Matt's House in honor of Matt Devenney,
Stewpot's former executive director.
at 343 Adelle Street near Millsaps College, Matt's House has as
its mission to provide a safe, nurturing environment while assisting
its residents in finding permanent shelter, employment, or transportation
back to their families.
which began as a simple soup kitchen, has developed into an organization
offering several different programs - from shelter, to clothing, to counseling,
to children's programs.
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