Methodist volunteer group still helping Katrina victims rebuild - - The News for South Mississippi

Methodist volunteer group still helping Katrina victims rebuild


By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -  A volunteer organization that has been helping in South Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina hit wants people to know it is still here. The Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Response team has volunteers and case managers on the job helping South Mississippians still struggling to get their homes repaired. 

The sound of hammers echoed from the back of a hurricane damaged home on Washington Avenue in Pascagoula Monday. Mississippi Untied Methodist Katrina Response has teamed up with Florida volunteers to rebuild the home. 

"Just think of anything that needs to be done on a house and we have done it," Tony Weiss said. 

Floridian, Tony Weiss is no stranger to the Mississippi coast.  He traveled here six times before volunteering to repair homes.

"One time we had to gut a room because it had opened itself up to termites."  

The Methodist organization has helped 12,000 Katrina victims rebuild their homes, but it is not stopping there. After such a catastrophic storm, the organization knows there is more work to be done. 

"You still have a lot people who don't have a secure and safe place to live," Case Manager Deborah Hatcher said. 

Hatcher knows there is a need, but said not many people have been calling for help.  She believes many people may think the organization shut down. After all, Katrina struck almost five years ago.

"We are still here to help and help with Katrina related issues. We are starting to do on the spot intakes, like if we drive by a house and see a blue roof or whatever." 

She said there are also hundreds of volunteers ready to give their time and talent to help rebuild. 

"We still have teams that are scheduled to 2011 and they continue to schedule every day," Hatcher said. 

"As long as there is a need here, we will continue to reach out," volunteer Nancy Plate said. 

Nancy Plate is 72 and loves volunteering. Plate said although the work is challenging, she just thinks of the hearts she's healing by rebuilding. 

"People are struggling to get back on their feet," Plate said. 

For more information about the faith-based organization, call 1-877-470-6767.

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