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Gertrude Young: Renamed center is all about ‘time and love for our children’

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Gertrude A. Young (photo by David Day)

At a well attended ceremony Saturday morning, Gertrude Young was honored by friends and family at the renaming and dedication of the Gertrude A. Young Jackson Street Center.

The youth facility has long been a central location for helping and developing the next generation in Vicksburg.

“When Fannie Willis Johnson built the Clay Street Y in 1923, it was told to her … there was a section that would not be able to go,” Young said with emotion during her speech at the dedication, referring to segregation. “So she built in 1924, right here in this very spot, Jackson Street YMCA. Not only did it have recreation and a swimming pool, but the main thing we grabbed hold of was the wisdom that we learned through this building. The kids would come and listen to what the old men had to say.”

A photo and plaque inside the center honor Gertrude Young. (Photo by David Day)

That older facility was allowed to fall into decay, so through three administrations Young, then a Vicksburg alderwoman, worked to rebuild the facility.

“To see my name on this on this center … my mom was a maid and my dad was a garbage man,” Young said, her voice shaking. “The only thing that got me through was I was smart.”

“My goal was to have a safe zone for our children in every part of our city and county” Young added with her chin up high. “A child should always feel like they could go somewhere. Somewhere where they don’t have to feel afraid.”

Gertrude Young served in her first public office as Warren County election commissioner from November 1988 until November 1992. She was elected as Vicksburg’s first female North Ward alderwoman and vice mayor of the City of Vicksburg, serving from July 1993 to July 2005. Young has served as president of the Mississippi Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials for two terms in 2001 and 2003. The state scholarship for the Central District of the MBC-LEO was named in her honor.

A resolute Gertrude A. Young in front of the center renamed in her honor. (Photo by David Day)

Young has served the city of Vicksburg and its residents in many capacities including adding a new addition to the Kings Community Center, building the swimming pool there, developing Halls Ferry Park, the Convention Center, the Senior Center, Sherman Avenue Park, Mission Park Baseball field, developing the waterfront, providing the shelter for Mountain of Faith Women Restoration and getting uniforms for city workers.

“It took a lot to build this place,” she said about the community center. “It took three years to build this place. It wasn’t about us, it was about our kids. And that is what we should to today, is to take an oath … that no more of our children would die in the city of Vicksburg.”

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MDHS requesting proposals for TANF grants

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The Mississippi Department of Human Services is requesting proposals from organizations best positioned to provide services in low income, at-risk areas of the state. The RFP is scheduled to be issued Monday, Nov. 2.

The agency will primarily invest Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant dollars, in concert with public and private partners to fund the programs outlined in the RFP.

“Our mission at MDHS is to make certain essential services available, while serving as good stewards of taxpayer money,” said MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson in a statement. “We are committed to providing statewide service delivery to our clients, and we need competitive proposals from across the state to accomplish that goal.”

The RFP will request services in the following areas:

Afterschool Program Activities

MDHS is soliciting nonprofit organizations and non-federal entities (i.e., state government; local school districts) to implement a program for age appropriate services, in multiple locations, with a priority given to entities that target children and youth attending high poverty/low performing schools and/or at-risk youth attending schools in high poverty areas where high juvenile justice referrals take place. Programs will service the target populations during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session such as afterschool and summer recess. Programs should give preference to those that receive MDHS services.

Parenthood Initiative

MDHS is soliciting nonprofit organizations and non-federal entities (i.e., state government; local school districts), in multiple locations, to provide and coordinate a wide spectrum of parent-focused programs to support the formation and maintenance of two-parent families that improve family stability and functioning. Services provided should support overall goals of safety, permanency, and well-being for children and families.

The purpose of the Parenthood Initiative is to train, educate, encourage, and assist parents in becoming knowledgeable and assuming responsibility for the nurturing, financial, growth and developmental needs of their children. In addition, the Parenthood initiative should strive to demonstrate the ability to collaborate with other service providers and community stake holders to increase support for and accountability to the families.

Upon award, subgrantees will be required to prepare and submit demographic and outcome reports designed by MDHS. Subgrantees shall submit these reports by a MDHS designated due date (no more than monthly; no less than quarterly). Evaluation and outcome reports are an integral element of the program’s ongoing planning, design and implementation. An effective report that evaluates specific targets enables the subgrantee to make informed decisions about changes that the program may need.

To further develop quality MDHS partnerships, MDHS will offer a general grant writing training free of charge for organizations interested in responding to MDHS solicitations. The training will be conducted at the MDHS State Office Building (South Tower of the City Centre building), located at 200 South Lamar Street, Jackson, on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Training will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end by noon.

The training will be archived for those who are not able to attend Oct. 29, and will subsequently be offered Nov. 5, 12 and 19 at the same time through Zoom. On Oct. 30, MDHS will provide registration instructions for the November training sessions.

The training, which will be conducted by MDHS staff, will cover all aspects of grant writing from the seven basic elements of a strong grant proposal to finalizing the proposal for submission.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer this as a service to anyone wishing to become a partner of the agency,” Anderson said. “This will provide a great benefit to our key stakeholders, and I encourage anyone wishing to submit a response to the RFP to take advantage of it.”

The training will be offered in person and virtual. Anyone interested in participating should register for this training opportunity by completing the SmartForm online. A SmartForm will need to be completed per participant, not per company. Space is limited due to social distancing guidelines and in-person training will be first come, first served. If you select “in-person” you will receive a confirmation from Procurement Services as to whether your registration was one of the first 20 received. If space is not available, you will still have the virtual option.

Once registered, those choosing to participate virtually will be given instructions on how to connect via Zoom.

For more information on the training and to view the agenda, visit the MDHS training webpage.

For more information on the request for proposals, go to the MDHS RFP webpage.

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Silver Alert issued for Grenada woman

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Dora Lee Jackson (photo courtesy MDPS)

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has issued a Silver Alert for 67-year-old Dora Lee Jackson of Grenada, Mississippi, in Grenada County.

Jackson is a black female, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 291 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in the 800 block of Washington Street in Grenada County.

Jackson is believed to be in a 2005 gold Dodge Caravan bearing Mississippi license plate GAA2872 and traveling in an unknown direction.

Family members say Jackson suffers from a medical condition that may impair her judgement. If anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of Dora Lee Jackson, contact Grenada Police Department at 662-226-1211.

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Governor signs emergency declaration ahead of Zeta

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Source: NOAA/NHC

Gov. Tate Reeves signed an emergency declaration Wednesday morning ahead of Hurricane Zeta.

Zeta is expected to make landfall Wednesday afternoon along the Mississippi and Louisiana coastlines as a significant hurricane, bringing strong winds of up to 100 mph, heavy rain and life-threatening storm surge. The highest inundation will occur somewhere between the mouth of the Pearl River and Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Hurricane conditions are expected this afternoon within portions of the Hurricane Warning area between Morgan City, Louisiana, and the Mississippi/Alabama border. Damaging winds, especially in gusts, will spread well inland across portions of southeast Mississippi and southern and central Alabama Wednesday night due to Zeta’s fast forward speed.

A few tornadoes are expected beginning Wednesday afternoon and through the night over southeastern parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the western Panhandle of Florida.

Heavy rain of up to 4 inches is expected through Thursday across most of Mississippi and Alabama.

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Vicksburg
77°
Mostly Cloudy
7:17am6:16pm CDT
Feels like: 77°F
Wind: 6mph ESE
Humidity: 95%
Pressure: 29.85"Hg
UV index: 3
WedThuFri
79/48°F
59/45°F
63/41°F

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