"When you have somebody that was already living in a substandard house initially, and they watch that be destroyed by the storm, not knowing how they are going to do or where it's going to come from, and then God blesses and brings them back and puts them in something like this, that generates a joy from their heart. Just seeing that and hearing their expression, it motivates you to get up and do it five or ten more times," said St. James Baptist Church Rev. Eddie Hartwell.
And that's exactly what Reverend Hartwell and the St. James congregation are doing.
This home on 26th Street in Gulfport was severely damaged by Katrina. But on Sunday, the homeowner will be the recipient of a refurbished three bedroom home that has been elevated to comply with FEMA's standards.
"Our ministry is to help senior citizens, single moms, and the handicapped whose homes were damaged and destroyed in the storm and they were either uninsured or underinsured and otherwise unable to repair their homes," said Hartwell.
And here is another home Rev. Hartwell and the St. James congregation are trying to rebuild. It's one of five they are trying to restore just in time for Mother's Day.
But this one is not as complete as the one you just saw on 26th Street, but with more volunteers, Rev. Hartwell believes it soon can be.
"I need some help. I need some local help," said Rev. Hartwell.
Three homes are almost finished, but two still need such things as siding, sheetrock, flooring, anything that will help at least five mothers and their families get back into their homes after nearly nine months.
"I know everybody has work going right now and everybody's busy trying to recuperate their own damages and losses and get their businesses going. But if we can help these mothers to get back in their homes for Mother's Day, I think it would make all of our mamas smile," said Rev. Hartwell.
All of these homes will be furnished with new furniture and the five recipients will move into these homes debt-free.
If you can help this church reach its goal in any way, please call St. James Baptist Church at (228) 863-0326.