Relief Organization Opens New Center In Gulfport

The International Relief and Development organization provides help to nations all over the world. Workers of the non-profit were on the coast in full force just days after Katrina.

Now, the Gulf Coast Community Service Center in Gulfport has a permanent place to carry out its services.

Annie James turned to the Gulf Coast Community Service Center for help after Katrina leveled her Gulfport home. Thanks to the non-profit organization, she plans to move out of her FEMA trailer, and into a new home by the end of the year.

"I'm looking forward to being in a new home by December, which my birthday is the 15th. That would be a remarkable, joyful event in my life," James said.

She wants to spread the joy and hope of recovery. That's why she decided to work for the organization that's helping her get back on her feet. Now, she and her co-workers have a new, permanent place, to work out of.

"We've just moved down a couple of blocks, and our landlord is working with us well, and he's helping us keep things affordable. We've expanded to four new programs, and we needed the space," said Lori West, Executive Director of International Relief and Development.

Case worker Kimberly Picou says their new location on 30th Avenue is a vast improvement over their old headquarters in Gulfport.

"We could really empathize with our clients due to the conditions in the old building, the roof leaking, and the other issues that it had. It really helps our morale to be even better and to face the challenges that we face on a daily basis," Picou said.

The location of the Gulf Coast Community Service Center may have changed, but its mission remains the same--helping Gulf Coast residents repair, rebuild and replenish their lives.