Ocean Springs Woman Gets A New Home From The Ground Up

At 64, Ruby Coleman has lived on General Pershing Street since she was a teenager. But when it came to rebuilding her storm battered Ocean Springs home, there was a problem.

"We were not able to get the building permits to repair it, so we ended up having to tear it down and start from scratch," Camp Victor worker Tony Gagliano said.

Coleman was not happy about the decision at first.

"Just seemed like nothing was going my way," Coleman said.

But then, volunteers from Camp Victor stepped in to help.

"I had to put it like this, I said, 'We have some good news and some better news. The good news is when we have to tear the house down, and we have someone who wants to build it back. The better news is we're going to keep your same floor plan,'" Gagliano said.

Volunteers from all across the United States teamed up with Camp Victor to build a new place for Coleman. While the work is ongoing, Coleman is already bragging about some of the features of her new home.

"I have a sunroof, I got deck, I got a washroom, I got  back porch and a front porch."

Volunteer Gianne Long didn't mind taking a few days off from her job in South Carolina to help paint Coleman's new home.

"She is absolutely a wonderful lady and she has a heart as big as all outdoors," Long said.

Pennsylvania volunteer Mark Gambino agrees. He says he's not looking for anything in return. Just knowing he's helping someone in need is thanks enough.

"I leave here with a since of satisfaction that I have done something helpful to change a part of the world who needed my help."

But just like Coleman, there still many people all over Jackson County in need of help. That's why these volunteers are planning to bring their experiences back to their hometowns with the hope of rallying more people to help.

"Absolutely. We took a took bunch of pictures and we are going to bring the excitement back that we came down here and made a difference," Long said.

Coleman's home should be completed in the next two weeks.

So far, more than 7,000 volunteers have teamed up with Camp Victor to rebuild homes in Jackson County.