Ocean Springs Marks Katrina Anniversary With New Homes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs Marks Katrina Anniversary With New Homes

Prayer and song were the tools used to frame the feelings of Ocean Springs residents on this one year anniversary of hurricane Katrina.

"Lord of all seasons, hear the thought of our hearts for the year that has passed and our hope for grace and protections in the days yet to come," says Rev. Marcia King, pastor of St. Johns Episcopal Church.

Co-sponsored by the Ocean Springs Church Alliance, the city's hurricane remembrance honored those who lost so much.  

"While our waterfront is devastated and so many people lost their homes in Ocean Springs, we can rebuild," proclaimed Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran.

And they honored those who've given so much to help in that rebuilding process.  

"We want to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the people and for those who have served so faithfully during this time," says Rev. Mitchell Hedgepeth of St. Paul Methodist Church.

Following the service, many in attendance accompanied Mayor Connie Moran to the site of what she considers a rebuilding prayer answered.  

It was the dedication of the the city's first Katrina Cottage neighborhood called Cottage Square.  

"It's hard for us to even imagine the effect this is going to have not just on disaster housing but on housing in general," says Leland Speed, Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority.

Born out of the Governor's Forum on Recovery and Renewal, these are the first 2 of 20 cottages to be built here.  

"We needed to come up with a safe and affordable place for people to live that was dignified," says Designer Marianne Cusato.

The first of many such places that planners hope will seed the regrowth of all that Katrina culled from this picturesque seaside village.    

by Don Culpepper

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