Progress Slow But Steady In East Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Progress Slow But Steady In East Biloxi

The massive hurricane relief center is no longer set up in John Henry Beck Park. But that doesn't mean the need for help has disappeared in East Biloxi.

There are significant signs of progress, along with ongoing needs in the neighborhood near Main and Division Streets.

"We're just glad to be able to do it," said Rev. Phil Chance, as he helped volunteers from nearby Saraland, Alabama deliver hurricane help to East Biloxi.

Pet food, clothing, and assorted relief supplies arrived Thursday morning, courtesy of some caring people who are dealing with their own Katrina mess.

"We still have a good bit of damage on Dauphin Island, but it's the kind of damage home owners can repair themselves. And the folks in the village are doing well, but everything west of there, we're still trying to help the best we can," said Pastor Chance.

Hurricane help means gutting a house at Division Street and Huff Alley. College students converge and work like an army of ants.

"It's crazy to see some places that look like it just happened. But it's nice to see places that are coming up new and it shows something's getting done," said New York college student, Justine Poteat.

Katrina was a life changing event for those people whose homes she ruined. But response to the storm has also changed lives.

Ben Waldman came from Chicago to help.  He'll leave here a different man.

"Loving helping residents. And it's definitely a career change for me, from what I was thinking about college and everything. I definitely want to do something in terms of social needs and social justice. This is really, really a great experience," he said, smiling.

The hurricane also changed Maggie Jones. She now lives in a FEMA trailer beside her storm ravaged home on Bertucci Street.

"That's a little getting used to. But I'm not complaining. It's better than a tent. I enjoy it," she said.

Jones remains optimistic her community will recover.

"Slowly, but yes, a lot of people are going to rebuild. They're not going to let this storm run them away. It was 36 years before the last one, so," she said.

By Steve Phillips

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