Habitat for Humanity moves Biloxi headquarters to Ocean Springs

By Meggan Gray - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After more than two years at Biloxi's Yankie Stadium, Habitat for Humanity is moving its recovery operations to Ocean Springs. Camp Victor will now be responsible for housing and feeding the many Habitat volunteers that continue to come to south Mississippi. Twenty Habitat volunteers from Pike County, Pennsylvania, were the first to arrive Monday, as part of the move to Jackson County.

Jeannie Antonetti has managed Habitat's volunteers for the past two years.

"We are really excited. This is our first day that we are transitioning over to Camp Victor."

As the Pennsylvania natives unloaded, those who had stayed at Yankie Stadium before took in their new surroundings.

"It looks fine so far. The neighborhood looks much safer," according to Jerry Boudreau, who stayed in Biloxi just last year.

"We're in downtown Ocean Springs, which is a great area. We're glad to be here," explains Antonetti.

Kendall Gordon manages volunteers for Camp Victor. She led the group on a tour of their new accommodations.

"Welcome to Camp victor. I know a lot of you have been at the stadium before, so we are very happy to house you here."

Habitat for Humanity is making the move to Ocean Springs to continue it's long term recovery mission in South Mississippi. Gordon says, teaming up with Camp Victor seemed like the perfect fit.

"We have the capacity to house over 230 volunteers each week, and Habitat was looking for some volunteer housing, so we decided it would be a really beneficial partnership for both organizations."

Monday is registration day, which gives volunteers time to see where they will spend the next week sleeping and eating when they're not building. They follow the more than 15,000 others who, over the last three years, have volunteered with Camp Victor.

Gordon says, "It's just going to be more faces through the camp, and a lot of excitement and energy. I think everyone is really happy about it."

Other than the accommodations, Antonetti said repeat Habitat Volunteers won't notice much change.

"We're keeping the experience for the most part the same, the scheduling, the work sites. We're here to help folks get back into homes. We're here to build decent, affordable homes; that's our mission and our goal."

Habitat needed to move out of Yankie Stadium by the first of the year. That's when the Salvation Army plans to dismantle its disaster recovery site at the stadium, and return to normal operations. However, the Salvation Army will continue partnering with Habitat by providing families with $20,000 in mortgage assistance.