Hurricane Katrina threw the doors to Pascagoula and Jackson County's future wide open. Grants, tax breaks, and other new revenue streams are available. The group "Pascagoula Forward" is making sure everyone is on the same page regarding which direction future development is headed.
"With Pascagoula Forward, we decided to create a luncheon, if you will, to have different citizens, business leaders, normal stay at home moms, to come out and get involved," says Frank Corder, Chairman of the Pascagoula Renaissance Commission.
This first luncheon focused on one of the most pressing post-Katrina issues - affordable housing. Pascagoula's plan, approved in August, is dynamic.
"This whole process we have in place right now will yield approximately 800 new affordable housing units," says J.P. Lawrence Deputy Executive Director with Affordable Assisted Housing Operations and Assets Management. "And what you see there now though is what our definition of affordable housing will be in the future, basically gated communities, pretty well up scale."
Subsequent meetings will focus on each part of the Pascagoula Renaissance Commission's plan. And the door is open to anyone with ideas on putting what are currently words on paper into action.
"Anybody from the stay at home mom to the doctor, lawyer, to the shipyard worker can come to this," says Corder. "They can get involved, find a voice, find their niche, find something to do, and make a difference."
Pascagoula Forward meets every Friday at the LaFont Inn on Highway 90.