South Mississippians Adjusting To Trailer Life

FEMA trailers fill almost every drive in the Glendale neighborhood, just east of the Handsboro Community Center.

Katrina filled nearly every home in the community with water, like the Spiers residence, which had about five feet.

"We were here when Katrina hit and we watched the water come up and go out, so it was pretty devastating," said Tommy Spiers.

After living in a spacious home for six years, Spiers says trailer life is definitely a change for him and his family.

"As time goes on, you know, it's small and like I said the walls are kind of closing in on my wife, but I have a little more patience than she does, but we're making it fine. We really are," said Spiers.

But he is grateful for a roof over his head, and like thousands of other South Mississippians, he is making do with what he has.

"That's all you can do. What else can you do? You got to go on, you know," said Spiers.

And "going on with life" is especially real at his next door neighbor's home, who has decked out the trailer with a little Christmas cheer.

"My parents came down for Thanksgiving, and it was just kind of a welcoming spirit for them. Just to let them know we haven't given up," said Jeff Grose.

But like the rest of the neighborhood, trailer life can take its toll, especially when you are not used to being in such close quarters to other family members.

"With two teenage daughters and a school teacher wife, it's been challenging. It really has. Just everyone on top of each other all the time," said Grose.

However, he, like the people of many trailer-transformed neighborhoods here in South Mississippi believes being so close to his family literally in a trailer is a blessing.

"The devastation that we've seen, you know, I see other people that have had it so much worse," said Grose.

According to FEMA, almost 74,000 South Mississippians are now living in what is called temporary housing post-Hurricane Katrina.