MEMA cottage neighborhood gets volunteer attention - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MEMA cottage neighborhood gets volunteer attention

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Steve Phillips – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A large neighborhood of MEMA cottages is taking shape in Ocean Springs.

Highland Village is an affordable housing development that features 75 of the cottages. This week, student volunteers are helping put some finishing touches on the project.

Young volunteers add a little fun to their spring break work project. They've spent the week painting hundreds of yards of picket fence.

"We are working with United Way," said volunteer Brian Mezzi. "These are MEMA, Mississippi cottages. They are rental properties for low income families. We have a group from Philadelphia, Mercy Vocational High School working with us. We are painting this picket fence."

San Francisco's Elizabeth Henningsgard combines a bit of Karaoke with the paint project.

"I decided I didn't want to do the beach thing again. And I looked up alternative spring breaks and this one was still accepting applications," she said.

Highland Village is a new cottage community, designed to be affordable housing.

"Something that's nice, has a lot of complimentary upkeep and has a nice beauty to it. These MEMA cottages were kind of put aside and they weren't really used for the exclusive purpose of giving people a nice place to stay. And this is what the development is all about," said Steve Adbo, one of the developers.

This is the second volunteer trip to the coast for Chris Gibson. The young man from Philadelphia is all about sharing the hope.

"Being here to show my support for the people who lost everything during Hurricane Katrina. Just being here to show my love and my support. And let them know there is still hope," Gibson said.

Hope for additional, affordable rental homes will be realized soon when Highland Village welcomes its first residents.

Highland Village is located on Gibson Road, north of Highway 90, in east Ocean Springs.

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