Mullinax Ford's Making Spirits Bright: McKemie Place/Family Security Credit Union

(IMG: WPMI) Mullinax Ford's Making Spirits Bright: McKemie Place/Family Security Credit Union

Eleven years ago, a homeless woman died in Mobile, when she froze to death on the street.

That's right, frozen to death.

And that's when a group of people in Mobile said 'Enough!'.

"Not again. Never again will there be that story in our city if we can help it,” says Ben Kennermer. “ And that's how McKemie started."

McKemie is McKemie Place... Mobile's only overnight shelter for homeless women. And Ben Kennemer is a local banker who agreed to be on its board.


"Because we do so much,” he says, “and every dollar we raise goes to help a great cause. We give the voice and the power to the powerless."

This year, Family Security Credit Union in Mobile decided to sponsor McKemie Place in our Making Spirits Bright campaign- delivering a gift card and everyday items women need.

Why are they doing this?

"Because we care,” says Brenda Carpenter. “We care about the community, we care about people, we want to help them. that's why we're here. we want to help.

Women can only stay at McKemie Place at night. But during the day, some have jobs or classes to attend.

Who are these women? Shelter manager J.P. Thurman says there are many faces.

"It could be you or me, it could be my coworker,” she says, “someone who fell on hard times. And people associate it with drugs. It's not always drugs. Hard times, someone could lose their job, paycheck to paycheck, and they find themselves... here."

And those who do come here arrive with very little.

J.P. allowed our camera entry into the luggage room to see. A bag or a suitcase it often all they have. That's why the products delivered this day by Family Security are so important. And they go one step further to help these women become finically stable again.

"It's a special checking account that we charge them ten dollars a month,” says Brenda, “but if they prove themselves and go 12 consecutive months with no overdrafts and everything then we can put them in a regular checking account."

The folks at Mckemie Place do have a bigger wish list. They are planning on moving to a new location someday in the future. But what they really need now is... a van. A van. Think you can help make someone's spirits bright? If you can, we’d love to hear from you!

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