Habitat Staff Prepares For South Mississippi Blitz

BILOXI (WLOX) -- If the city council gives its blessing Tuesday, Biloxi will donate two more lots to Habitat for Humanity. One parcel is on Nixon Street. The other lot is on Huff Alley. In return, the organization and its team of volunteers will build a couple of new homes in east Biloxi.

That's just the beginning of what seems to be Habitat's never ending commitment to south Mississippi. Habitat for Humanity has a building blitz planned from May 11 until May 15. That one week of work that will dramatically change the lives of 100 families.

Scott Underwood knows the combination to unlock this door and move families back to east Biloxi. "A lot of teamwork," Habitat For Humanity's pre-construction manager said. In just 18 months, he's overseen the construction of 184 homes in Harrison and Jackson Counties. "For me to go out and look at these things, originally I see them as raw land," Underwood said. "And then to go out and actually see the dedications of homeowners getting their keys to these homes is unbelievable."

Underwood and his volunteer specialist Doug Fowler visited Bowen Street in east Biloxi. Habitat has two homes there that are nearly complete. "We're all proud to be down here helping to rebuild," said Fowler. "It's kind of a historic rebuilding process here in Biloxi and beyond."

Monday is always a day of rest for Habitat work crews. However, it's a planning day for Habitat's staff. And there's a lot of planning to do to prepare for a major undertaking.

On May 11, 2,000 Habitat volunteers will participate in the Jimmy and Roslyn Carter work project. The former president will be in south Mississippi that week. He'll watch as 10 new homes are built in Biloxi, 10 are finished in Pascagoula, 30 homes are rehabbed in Gulfport, and a 48 home framing frenzy is done in front of the Biloxi lighthouse. "It's going to be one of a kind. It's going to be a great project," Fowler said. "All in a week from start to finish."