Hancock Co. couple finally get help with Katrina damaged home

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - We have an update on a story we first told you about two weeks ago. The elderly Hancock County couple struggling to get back into their home more than eight years after Hurricane Katrina finally received some much needed help.

Three volunteers from Magee heard about the couple's plight after our story aired on our sister station in Jackson.

The volunteers said they had to give back to a Korean War Veteran who has given so much to his country. Construction tools in the hands of volunteers created the sounds that put smiles and tears on Fred and Dorothy Rothwell faces.

"We're so happy. We can't believe it got started," said Fred Rothwell.

His tearful wife Dorothy; echoed his words.

"It just touched my heart so much that they were willing to come and volunteer," she said.

Casey Perreira and two others volunteers from Magee, gave up their weekend and drove 150 miles to the Coast to make repairs on the Rothwell's storm damaged home.

Perreira said, "We need to get these people back into their home. They are living in a little bitty trailer and they need their home back."

Volunteer Jim Lichte said, "Eight years is a long time to be out of your house for any reason."

The volunteers ripped out the mold stained sheet rock and had the entire house gutted in just a day and a half, before having to return home to their paying jobs.

"I plan on coming back I'm going to do all I can I want to see it finished," said Perreira.

He told WLOX NEWS, completing the work would go a lot faster if there were more helping hands.

"It's got to be painted its got to be floored. The appliances need to be back in the house. There is just so much to do and not enough help and after eight years it's just so hard for me to believe these people are not in their home. Where is the brotherhood that's going to help our veterans? Where is our Government, which should have been put these people back into their home," explained Perreira.

The Rothwell's are grateful for the help and have their fingers crossed their home will be finished before Christmas.

Fred said, "It's unbelievable there are still people out there who will go out of their way to help you. And they don't want nothing in return."

The Hancock Housing Resource Center is working with the couple.

The Rothwell's case worker is over-seeing the volunteer work left to be done on the home.

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