Volunteers Help To Rebuild Hancock County

Pansy Brown cannot wait to move back into her home, a home she had only lived in for three months before Katrina hit.

And to see it finally taking shape once again is "unbelievable. A month ago, I thought I was going to be homeless. I didn't see anything in the future for me. Really hopeless. Hopelessness. And now, it's just unbelievable," said Brown.

The difference for Brown comes courtesy of a church in Bay St. Louis known as Lagniappe Presbyterian, which has only been in existence since the storm.

"It was a great time for the church to come into Bay St. Louis and just help people - really be the church instead of just having church," said Lagniappe Presbyterian Church minister Jean Larroux.

And being a church is what made Minister Jean Larroux call people throughout the nation to come make a difference.

Groups of volunteers, like this one from Orangeburg, South Carolina, answered the call.

"I just wanted to come and help in some way. I just felt like these people needed help and I wanted to come help them," said volunteer Mary Beth Myers.

"All that was there when they started were the pilings. The concrete had set. So they started from that and put in the flooring, studs for walls, sheeting. And ,as you can hear in the background, the pounding on the roof. The house will have tar paper on it before nightfall," said volunteer Kenley Leslie.

Thanks to these volunteers and others, Pansy Brown will be back in her home by the end of the year.

"I had to leave here every couple of weeks because it was so depressing, and I kept coming back and forth. Now when I go out, I look for the new buildings, the new homes going up, and I see that this community is definitely - we're survivors. We're going to rebuild," said Brown.

The group from South Carolina is also rebuilding two other homes in Hancock County. The group will leave on Friday.