GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Magnolia Grove is a small community that's rich in culture and history. But over the years, people who live there say things have changed. It's just one reason residents are teaming up with city leaders to reshape and restore Magnolia Grove by utilizing a building that's in the heart of the community.
People who knew Gulfport native Katie Booth describe her as a woman committed to her community. Now these people hope to channel some of her hard work and dedication to take back Magnolia Grove.
"We've got to have somewhere or something for these kids to do," said George Johnson.
George Johnson has lived in the community for more than 40 years. He's seen people come and people go.
"I've been knowing most of them since they were kids," said Johnson.
Uytake Adams is one those kids. Like his neighbor, Adams says it's time to revamp Magnolia Grove starting with the children who call it home.
"With the center being down here we can have that place that they can come to and learn and take their minds off of things that they are not supposed to be there," Adams.
Adams hopes to spearhead more recreational and tutorial programs at the Katie Booth Community Center.
"We have this big beautiful building but we have no one in it," said Adams. "It's like a church with no people."
But if these residents have their way, there will be no empty seats in this center. City leaders say they will support the efforts but it's ultimately up to the community to make some changes in Magnolia Grove.
"I know we have children and grandchildren that you are just going to have to nudge and say it's time to give back to the community," said council woman Ella Holmes-Hines.