Rebuilding Together Helps South Mississippians Rebuild Homes

About 60 volunteers from across the nation are in South Mississippi this week, rebuilding hurricane ravaged homes.

"I've really been living out of garbage bags and cardboard boxes at friends' homes, so I'm very fortunate that I've had that kind of support, but it's kind of tiring after a while," said Mary Durel, a Long Beach resident whose home was destroyed by Katrina.

Relief is on the way for Mary Durel, thanks to helping hands from Rebuilding Together. She has been living with friends and relatives in Minnesota, New York, and Tennessee. She's anxious to get back into her home and back to her roots.

"No matter where I am or will be for any period of time, this is still home. Like my father, this is where I will certainly be when I retire," Durel said.

Throughout the week, there's been a flurry of activity as volunteers have worked to restore Durel's home, insulating and drywalling the house, among other things. Mary's home is just one of 1,000 homes the group plans to rehabilitate.

"We have plans to rebuild homes across the Gulf, from the Coast of Mississippi to Southeast Texas. We are at 173 homes completed, using more than 3,300 volunteers, working more than 30,000 hours," said Sarah Shogren of Rebuilding Together.

As for Mary Durel, she can't wait to move back home and says she wishes her parents were still here to share her joy.

"It was a lovely home. I think they would be very proud and happy for what Rebuilding Together has brought because they loved it," she said.

Mary's house is one of six homes in South Mississippi volunteers are working on this week.