Sturdivant said the Salvation Army opens a cold-weather shelter when the temperature is expected to dip below 40 degrees, and for most of 2017, it was hardly open.
On Monday night, almost 50 people came to the shelter -- double the number coming to seek refuge from the cold in previous days.
At church Sunday, Sturdivant made a plea to a group of people who are homeless.
"We're in south Mississippi, so our bodies are not used to that," he told them. "I beg you to come inside, especially with it getting down into the 20s."
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