Days Numbered For Pass Christian's Tent City - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Days Numbered For Pass Christian's Tent City

Dion Webb's days of playing video games in his tent home are numbered. Dion and his mom moved into The Village in Pass Christian in November. Katrina destroyed their Gulfport apartment. They may have to move again if the tents get pulled up March 15th.

"I'm trying to call and see what they're doing with my trailer now, but they're saying it's been processed. I just ain't never got it," says Latasha Webb.

If her FEMA trailer doesn't come through and the tent city closes, Webb says she's not where she'll go.

"I'm looking for me somewhere to stay now. There's nothing. And everything's going up and stuff."

FEMA representatives have been on site this month trying to help people like Latasha Webb find another place to live.

"We're talking about FEMA trailers, travel trailers or other spots. And we've reduced the number down to about 80 people," Pass Christian Administrator Malcolm Jones says.

But Jones says not all of those people qualify for such housing. The city doesn't want people put out on the street, so if they're still living in the tents on March 15, Jones says they'll do one of two things: Ask FEMA for another extension or get volunteer groups to take over running The Village.

"And also pay the expenses as well. You know, the electrical bill and providing showers and possibly having a volunteer feeding tent. The feeding tent for FEMA is a major expense. It's a multi-thousand dollar a day deal."

Americorps volunteers are in charge of the tent city now. They say there is still a real need to help people.

"It'd be a shame to have it torn down and not be used for further recovery efforts. There's a move to have it used for volunteer housing, while at the same time ensuring that the people who are still here that have no other place to go can still have a place to try to find a permanent place to go," volunteer Andy Lewis says.

As many as 180 people once lived in the tents that Seabees built in Pass Christian's War Memorial Park. FEMA paid the more than $1 million construction cost and still pays the daily expenses.

byMarcia Hill

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