Volunteers rebuild Mr. Jessie's home

By Doug Walker – bio | email

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - Welcome to the modest St. Martin home of Joshua Jessie, a home nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Every day, Mr. Jessie sits outside and watches scores of volunteers from Camp Victor repair the house.  The volunteers drill, they finish drywall, and whatever else needs to be done.  And Mr. Jessie is very thankful for their help.

"Well, it means a lot to me helping me get my house back together," Jessie said.

Volunteers hope to have the home ready for Mr. Jessie by the middle of this year.

Many people across the country believe the coast has recovered from Hurricane Katrina, but there are plenty of south Mississippi homeowners still in need. Luckily, many are getting help from volunteers like those at Camp Victor.

Suzie Harvey has been the director of Camp Victor since day one.

"Five years after Hurricane Katrina, there's still thousands of homeowners that are still living in really extremely bad conditions." Harvey said.  "There are homes that we are still mucking out five years out. There are still homes that have had no work done yet to date."

Back at the group's base camp in Ocean Springs, volunteers work on computers, compiling a list of those in need. It's a list that never seems to end.

In the kitchen, Danny Ryan is offering his culinary skills to feed more than 100 volunteers this day.  This special mission stirs his heart.

"It's very rewarding," Ryan said. "Everybody comes in here in a very good mood and good spirits and it's an honor to cook for them."

Mr. Jessie sums up the volunteers' efforts perfectly.

"They done a perfect job, real perfect," Jessie said.

To learn more about Camp Victor's mission in south Mississippi, visit www.campvictor.org.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.