Collaborative to improve East Biloxi says diversity is its strength

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of community partners say the way to improve the quality of life in East Biloxi is by making sure all voices are heard. The population of East Biloxi has struggled to rebound since Hurricane Katrina. A collaborative of non-profit organizations, businesses, churches and concerned citizens is working to be part of the change it wants to see happen in the neighborhood. The members said their differences are what gives the organization strength.

Hope Community Credit Union is always looking for new customers, but officials say it's just as important the credit union make investments in the community.

"Part of Hope Credit Union's mission is to not only have a branch in the community, but be part of the community," said John McCarty of Hope Credit Union. "Being apart of the community means being on committees and helping to push the community forward."

Pushing the community forward is the goal of the East Biloxi Community Collaborative of which McCarty is a member.

"When you have multi facets of the community involved then you have different views, different ideas." said McCarty. "Many different agencies and many different people helping to push the community forward so I feel it's a great asset.

Collaborative Co-Chair Angel Greer is also a representative of Coastal Family Health Center.

"It's important that we look at all of the individuals whatever their background or their economic level. It's important to have everyone have a voice," said Greer.

Whether it's finance, education or public health, each person here brings something valuable to the table. The group said creating a community that's a great place to live, work and raise a family starts with creating a more healthy community.

"We're trying to increase access of all of the residents regardless of their age or their background to get primary care and preventive care," Greer said. "That way they can live healthy lives. Nothing else in my perspective is achievable if we don't start with healthy bodies and healthy minds."

The East Biloxi Community Collaborative has taken on many projects with some of the most recent being a child immunization drive and a school supply giveaway.

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