Volunteers Dedicate New Home In East Biloxi

By Jeff Lawson – bio | email

BILOXI, MS. (WLOX) - Tommy and Shirley Jackson are thrilled to be in their new home on Biloxi's Strangi Avenue. The home was built, courtesy of some terrific volunteers from all over the country. Friday, a brief dedication ceremony was held.

This was just one of more than 70 houses that have been built since Katrina, under the guidance of the Hope Community Development Agency. The volunteers are from organizations like AmeriCorp and Hands on Gulf Coast. They labored to build the house over the long and hot summer months.

The executive director of the Hope Community Development Agency is Bill Stallworth.

"All of this makes it come together, but when we see your faces it truly makes us understand everything is worthwhile," Stallworth told the estimated 50 people who gathered for the dedication.

The volunteers put in hundreds of hours. Over that time, the Jackson's have gotten to know most of these folks. Now, it's hard to say goodbye.

"I want to thank you all," Mrs. Jackson said with a tear in her eye. " I have been able to meet and see you all, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I just want to cry, but they are happy tears."

A second home just down the street, also built by the volunteers, was also dedicated Friday.

Stallworth pointed out that an estimated 6,000 homes in East Biloxi were either destroyed or severely damaged by hurricane Katrina.

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