Partnership Rehabs Low Income Homes

The $30,000 the City of Biloxi gave Back Bay Mission last year went a long way in kicking off a pilot program to help low income families. The program is aimed at making home repairs, and the money helped do that.

"Used for materials, paint, lumber, and in some cases to bring in a subcontractor to do more extensive electrical work, plumbing work and roofing work," says Back Bay Mission's Executive Director, Shari Prestemon.

Those are services that the city is limiting in providing. By law, the city can spend only $60,000 on each house. In many cases the work is so extensive that money doesn't stretch far enough.

Community Development Director David Staehling says, "When you plug in the volunteer labor, you plug in the donations or reductions of materials and supplies the Back Bay Mission is able to procure they can do an awful lot of work for a lot less money so it's worked very well."

So well, that Tuesday Back Bay Mission will ask Biloxi for a hundred thousand dollars to continue what Prestemon says is a partnership that works.

"It helps low income people who have no other resources to give to their homes, to get some things done and to get them done well and efficiently."

Prestemon says with the city's help, they can renovate and repair about 15 houses a year.

Back Bay Mission has been in the home rehab program for 30 years.