NAACP leader seeks funding from county, others to help most impoverished in community

Published 4:09 pm Monday, June 6, 2022

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors took under advisement a request from Joyce Arceneaux Mathis, president of the Natchez-Adams County branch of the NAACP, to participate in a program to provide relief to low-income residents who need help with household repairs.

Arceneaux Mathis made it clear to supervisors and all attending the meeting that the local NAACP is not seeking money from the county.

“We came before you all in December. What we have done today is to request funding. The NAACP does not request any money to be submitted to the NAACP. This money does not come to the NAACP. It stays with Adams County,” she said. “We are trying to get ahead.”

Email newsletter signup

The NAACP has taken on the task of studying and seeking help for the lowest-income Natchezians. Arceneaux Mathis said she knows the county will begin its budgeting for the 2022-2023 soon, and wants to get on the supervisors’ radar now.

“We will come back to the budget hearings,” she said.

The NAACP has gathered significant data about concentrated areas of poverty in Adams County.

Supervisor Ricky Gray said each ward in the county has poverty within its boundaries.

“Every supervisor’s district is going to benefit from this,” he said.

Arceneaux Mathis asked the county supervisors to budget $50,000 to be added to the Special Needs Assistance Program, already administered by the county. That program helps low-income residents to make needed repairs on their homes, like installing a new roof. However, that program is limited to 20 approvals per year because of limited funding.

She also asked that supervisors contact U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, who now represents Adams County since legislative boundaries were redrawn in early spring, to ask that the county be designated for Americorps assistance. When designated, Americorps volunteers come into a community and complete needed assistance for residents.

Supervisor Warren Gaines told Arceneaux Mathis she is doing a great job of making the community aware of the NAACP’s poverty project.

“They invite everybody to the table, so there will not be a misunderstanding,” Gaines said. “They are not doing this under the NAACP, they are looking at the community…We as elected officials understand we have to make sure we can help the folks of our community. That’s an important part of our job.”