Mayor’s daughter spends night on streets

Published 11:57 am Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mayor George Flaggs Jr.’s daughter will be glad to sleep under her own roof again tonight after spending a night on the streets.

Emmarie Flaggs-Anderson spent 12 hours in downtown Vicksburg on a public bench in front of the parking lot next to 1311 Bar & Grill, 1311 Washington St. from Wednesday at 5 p.m. to today at 5 a.m.

The stunt was performed in an effort to bring public awareness to homelessness in Vicksburg, Flaggs-Anderson said.

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“The sole purpose of this is that last year I became acquainted with the Mountain of Faith Ministries Homeless Shelter,” she said previously. “I’ve done quite a lot of volunteering with this shelter.”

Flaggs-Anderson said reality struck around 3:30 a.m. this morning.

“There is nowhere to use the bathroom down there,” she said. “If my kids had been staying with me last night, I would have had to wake all of them up and take them with me to use the bathroom.”

Flaggs-Anderson said she had to walk to the police station, alone, to use the restroom.

“This is what someone has to deal with every day of their life,” she said.

Flaggs-Anderson said she wanted to acknowledge the Vicksburg Police Department and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office for checking on her all night.

“(Sheriff) Martin Pace and Chief (Walter) Armstrong both wanted to make sure we would be safe and secure,” she said. “All night they came through, and that really meant a lot to me.”

Flaggs-Anderson said well over 50 people stopped by to talk to her during the night.

“We raised over $500,” she said, in addition to boxes of toiletries.

Flaggs-Anderson said the best way to raise awareness was to walk a mile in their shoes.

“This could be you, this could be me and it could happen to anyone,” she said. “I’m all about community unity. I want to bring unity and provide for those who are in need.”

Flaggs-Anderson, an educator at Vicksburg High School, was accompanied by her colleague Kristen Sanders Williams for the event.