GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Two days into the new Neighborhood Home Program, people are filling up local outreach centers.
By 11:00 am, more than 40 people had come by the International Relief and Development (IRD) Center in Gulfport. The program targets low-income homeowners still needing help with home repair following Hurricane Katrina. Among those who stopped in were senior citizens and the disabled; two groups the program is really trying to reach.
John Damico of Gulfport falls in one of those categories. The 65-year-old needs repairs done on a roof left badly damaged after Hurricane Katrina.
"I'm on a limited income. [I'm] 65, and I need it fixed because it's leaking pretty bad now," said Damico.
The Easleys, both seniors, have multiple home repair issues. Earl Easley, who's disabled, said there's only one way to describe how they felt as they walked through IRD's doors in need of assistance.
"In a world a hurt, I'm on disability and everything. It's no way on the income I have that I can take it and buy the materials to re-do [everything]," said Easley.
Damico and the Easleys are exactly who the newly established Neighborhood Program is striving to reach. Low-income homeowners still in need of home repairs following Hurricane Katrina can receive up to $75,000 in assistance through the program.
Lori West, the Gulf Region Director of IRD, said the program is open to new clients looking for help. It's also available to people who have received help from FEMA or other sources but not enough to finish their homes. West said all people need to do is walk in and find out if they qualify.
"As their case manager, we will be in touch with them and walk along side with them throughout the entire process," said West.
That's comforting news as many said this program is their last source of help to fully recover from Hurricane Katrina.
"[It will] be a great weight lifted off of us," said Easley.
The deadline to apply is January 31, 2011. The program targets low-income homeowners living in South Mississippi counties who owned a home during Hurricane Katrina.
To help avoid fraud, contractors will be paid directly through the state. The Mississippi Development Authority oversees the Neighborhood Home Program, established under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
According to state officials, as many as 5,000 Mississippians may qualify for some financial assistance, but you must meet certain guidelines.
You must have owned and occupied your home at the time of Katrina.
You must currently own your home.
You must have unrepaired Katrina related damage to a single family home.
No new construction.
Home must be in an eligible county: Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, Pearl River, Lamar, George, Stone, Forrest, Jones.
Applications are due by January 31, 2011 and may be filed at one of the following Neighborhood Home Program Outreach Centers:
Forrest County Multipurpose Center 962 Sullivan Rd. Hattiesburg, MS 39401-2714 601- 544-5115
Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi (R3SM) 1715 Hardy St, Suite 40 Hattiesburg, MS 39401 601-544-5115
LESM Lucedale, George County 52 Virginia St. Lucedale, MS 39452 228-990-3941
Hancock Resource Center 454 Highway 90, Suite B Waveland, MS 39576 228-463-8887
IRD Housing Resource Center of Harrison County 1223 30th Ave. Gulfport, MS 39501 228-864-6677
Hope Community Development Agency 425 Division Street Biloxi, MS 39530 228-435-7180
IRD Housing Resource Center of Jackson County 4836 Main Street Moss Point, MS 39563 228-474-0070
The Magnolia Center 1457 Ellisville Blvd. Laurel, MS 39440-5417 601-544-5115
Lamar County Multipurpose Center 43 Central Industrial Row Purvis, MS 39475 601-544-5115
Pearl River County
LESM Picayune, Pearl River County 1421 Goodyear Blvd. Picayune, MS 39466 228-234-7776
H.A. Brown UMC 200 N. Azalea Drive (Hwy 49) Wiggins, MS 39577 601-946-4334
Friday, August 29 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:05:03 GMT
The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia.More >>
The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia. During Friday's hearing, prosecutors revealed that DNA evidence found on Janaya's body has come back from the crime lab with a positive match for Garcia's DNA.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 3:40 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:40:25 GMT
Officials continue to search for the man who beat and robbed a woman during a home invasion in Yazoo City on Monday night. According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front doorMore >>
According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front door for a person she thought needed help.
Friday, August 29 2014 6:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:45:32 GMT
It was a short and simple ceremony on the Biloxi Town Green Friday morning to mark the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. High school students solemnly read the names of those killed by the storm.More >>
A small crowd gathered on the town green in Biloxi on Friday morning for the annual Hurricane Katrina observance. Nine years after the storm, Mayor A.J. Holloway acknowledged the tremendous losses, but also talked about the significant progress that's been made in the years since.More >>