Tent City Creates New Neighborhood

Right now home sweet home for Phillip Landry of Pass Christian is a tent on Fleitas Avenue. Landry moved into The Village when it opened last Saturday.

"It's not bad. It's closed off. It's got central heat, you know, central heat in there and they're comfortable," says Landry.

Landry lost everything in Hurricane Katrina and he will stay in his tent as long as it takes to get a FEMA trailer delivered.

"They called and got the address of the property where they're gonna bring it and they confirmed that so hopefully it won't be long," he says.

Kathleen and Timothy Pavolini are waiting for a FEMA trailer too. But until they get one, they're happy with a tent over their heads.

"After getting used to it, it's nice. You meet a lot of nice people around here, they're very helpful, they take good care of you, they look out for you. As you can see we have central air and heat. It's comfortable," she says.

With the exception of indoor plumbing, the rows of tents have most of the comforts of home. The Seabees put up the tents. The beds are donated and FEMA provides the meals. Americorps volunteers are building two community centers. And Americorps helps run the neighborhood.

Volunteer Andy Lewis says it's filling up fast.

"There's been a lot of families moved in. We've moved about 50 people in right now and we have 100 people who have been approved to move in, so we're about half our capacity in five days."

The tent citizens can stay in The Village for up to 18 months.