Rebuilding Together volunteers make progress in Hancock Co.

By Al Showers - bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Kathleen Westbrook's Waveland home is getting a facelift and some much needed energy efficiency improvements, thanks to volunteers from the Rebuilding Together organization.

"To think that people, three years after Katrina, are still coming down here and wanting to help us recover. It gets me teary eyed, that it does," Westbrook said.

Fifty Rebuilding Together volunteers from all over the nation are working on Westbrook's home and four others in Hancock County this week.

"We focus on low income homeowners who can't afford to do all this work themselves. This project is special because we're working with our friends from API, which is America's oil and natural gas industry. We're doing energy efficient and green repairs," said Alan Sisco with Rebuilding Together.

The hope is to lower power bills so the homeowners can afford to stay in their houses.

Ganelle Campbell with Rebuilding Together Gulf Coast said, "It's very rewarding to see the care and compassion that these people have."

Steve Dodge left his desk job in Boston for a week to help.

"The work down here will probably never end. People say, 'How long is it going to take?' If you ask the local people down here, they'll say there's no end. And you look around and you see that," Dodge said.

"It's really been rewarding for me," Washington D.C. volunteer Lindsay Paulliam said. "I've got a new take on things having seen it firsthand, and I actually want to do some more."

The long-term goal of Rebuilding Together is to rehabilitate 1,000 homes in the Katrina affected region. So far the organization has helped about 500 storm victims get back into their homes.