Affairs Program offering assistance in procuring documentation

By: 
DONNA SUMMERALL
Staff Writer

Don Cotton of The Mission, offers insight into the needs of men who are seeking help after emerging from substance abuse programs, incarceration or other life changing situations.
"Over the past three years, we, at The Mission, have been providing help to the surrounding community," Cotton said. "We have helped with food, clothing, transportation, and mentoring. Many of the individuals who seek help have come from broken or abusive homes, the street, jail, prison, and/or are victims of domestic violence."

The Mission is a haven for those individuals whenever they need it. The Mission cannot always help, but it does have information and resources that will connect them with someone who can.
"In working with many of these individuals, we have learned that there is a great need that is going unmet," Cotton said. "We are finding than many individuals are unable to obtain the proper documents for a fresh start in life. That is when the Lord put it upon my heart to begin the 'Affairs Program.' A way to help individuals tend to the affairs they need to continue on their journey."
These individuals need help with obtaining identification, birth certificates, Social Security cards and other important documents.
"All these documents are important in finding jobs, being able to file disability, DD214 for veterans," Cotton said. "However, these items come with a cost and many seeking them have no means financially to get them. In no way will we enable anyone, but we do want to help. These individuals will be properly screened, counseled and held accountable to use the assistance to better their lives. We will walk through each step of the process with them."
Cotton said they do not turn money over to the person needing the documents. The Affairs Program, will help with the application process to procure the documentation.

"When people lose everything in a house fire, most of the time documents are damaged or destroyed," Cotton said. "We will also help people who have lost so much due to something that is through no fault of their own. We were put on this Earth to be of service to one another."
When women escape from abusive partners or spouses, they often take the children and just the clothes on their backs, There is no time for looking for birth certificates and Social Security cards when there is only a small window of opportunity to leave. The Affairs Program can help with these issues, allowing life to move forward.

"We can only do this through the generous funding we receive from members of our community and the citizens of the Golden Triangle Area, like you," Cotton said. "We hope that you will be able to join us in funding this new program that is much needed in our community. We are specifically seeking donations of $100 but if you are only able to give $5, we greatly appreciate your support."
Cotton said he is seeking $5,000 in donations to get the program off the ground. At this time donations of $425 have been made.

"I cannot say enough about Carolyn Poston, Bettye Swift, Reita Humphries, Lisa Lairy and Tonya Curry and the entire Delta Sigma Theta Sorority," Cotton said. "This a truly caring organization. They didn't hesitate when I asked for help. The Progressive Foundation of Clay County, and Payne Chapel. These people are more than willing to help us with the Affairs Program."
Cotton said it is almost impossible for these men to receive treatment, apply for employment, get a driver's license without the necessary documents. Many have no idea where to even begin.

"Many of these men have burned all of their bridges with family and friends," Cotton said. "Having a substance abuse problem often makes families turn their backs because they have been lied to and hurt so many times. We are trying to provide the help these men need to receive treatment and after treatment, to turn their lives around."
For more information call 605-5040.
Donations may be mailed to The Mission/Affairs Program, P.O. Box 328, West Point MS 39773.
Please make checks payable to The Mission with Affairs Program in the memo line.

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