The sounds of progress echo along Hunter Avenue. Church volunteers, coordinated by the Grey Hut in Pass Christian, are trying to finish 10 more houses. The homes are being built for residents who are elderly, disabled, as well as single parents.
"It's because no one else is stepping up," said Amy Hardee, Volunteer Coordinator for Pass Christian. "People are very depressed and distressed and tired of living in 300 square feet of FEMA trailers."
After enduring 18-months of frustration, Linda Burton looks forward to starting over.
"It's been long. It's been awhile, and it would be good to be in your own house again," Burton said.
Burton's house is being built by Grey Hut crews. Through grants, they are able to provide the labor, supplies and everything else from kitchen cabinets to flooring.
"It's happening this time; we can see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Burton. "Oh, just wonderful, I can't wait, can't wait."
Now, volunteers with the Grey Hut will be helping more families rebuild their homes. The Grey Hut and long-term church groups are teaming up with the Salvation Army to build 16 more houses in the Pass. The program is called "Sweet 16."
"They're going to donate $20,000 per house, which is so much more than we ever dreamed, which is Sweet 16," Hardee said. "They will take care of our supplies for our electricity, our plumbing and our HVAC. We are so excited on what can happen."
And Linda Burton knows exactly what she'll do when she moves in next month.
"I'll probably just come in here and shout 'Hallelujah, thank the Lord and everybody else who was so helpful'," Burton said.
The property owners in the program must provide the minimal down payment on their new house.
They must meet other requirements like:
- They must own the property.
- The lot must be cleared.
- They must provide the elevation certificate.
- They have to provide the house plan.
- They must provide a building permit.
The volunteers hope to finish all 16 houses by July.