Volunteer group returns 34 times to rebuild homes in Jackson Co. - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Volunteer group returns 34 times to rebuild homes in Jackson Co.

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Since Hurricane Katrina stormed through the Gulf Coast a countless number of volunteers have come down to help rebuild homes and lives. 

But there's still more work to be done and one group that continues to lend their time and talents here is called International Relief Teams based out of California. The disaster relief organization has been traveling to the Coast every other month since Katrina hit to get storm victims back home.

Vanlceave Resident Bridgett Pace lost her home and much of her hope after Katrina washed ashore. 

"The whole front side of it was separated and you could see the ground from the inside of the house," Pace said. 

Six years later she's still living here. 

"We have been living in a two bed room trailer since Katrina. We have four kids, so six people in a two bedroom that is not very comfortable," Pace explained.

But things are looking up for her and the family now.

The International Relief Teams Organization heard about her story and they're building her a brand new home. 

"It so remarkable I can't put it in to words," Pace said.

Many on this team are no stranger to the Coast. Weeks after the storm hit they were on the ground working. To this day, they are still lending a helping hand.   

"We do disaster relief all over the world. Domestically, we do construction relief and overseas we do medical relief," volunteer Mark Grisez said. "This work here as a team, this is or thirty-fourth trip." 

Grisez said every one of those 34 trips has been a success. 

"Two years ago we started building new homes like this. But up until that, we were putting roofs on doing drywall, doing painting, whatever it took to be done," Grisez said.

Another volunteer shared the same sentiment.

"A lot of people are afraid to get in there and do it, and I am not afraid to get in there and do it," volunteer Chris O'Brien said. 

Members of the relief organization are proud of their work, but they said it's going to take a lot  more hands to help get more storm victims back home and happy again. 

The organization spends about a week in Jackson County every time they come. They're working along with the United Methodist Disaster Response team that's based on the Coast.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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