WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The Christian Life Center's Disaster Ministry is preparing to say goodbye to the Quanza huts which have housed its thrift store operation.
"When we started out over a year and a half ago, it was half a tent, and then it was a full tent, and then two, and then three, and now a building," said David Bartelt with the Christian Life Center.
The mission of the thrift store will remain the same. It will give folks who lost everything during Katrina a chance to replace furniture and household goods at an affordable price. The Highway 90 building will also offer Katrina victims a coffee bar and a community center.
"This is a place where you don't have to buy anything. Just hang out have a cup of coffee, read a book, talk," Bartelt said. "That's our mission is just to have a place where people can go."
Tom Barbour is the Director of the Christian Life Center.
"Having a place where people can sit around in a friendly comfortable atmosphere and talk about things, that's the type of thing that will be a healing process here," Barbour said. "We hope to have some counseling services available. Just bring things out and not hold them in, that helps in that healing process.
For the Latino population, there will be Spanish speaking helpers on hand. The new building is expected to open in about two weeks.
Bartelt said, "Our mission, our goal, our heart and our passion is just to help people rebuild their lives."
The Christian Life Center has helped hundreds of residents get back into homes over the past four years. Currently, it has about 250 people on a list waiting for help.