GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - One historic Gulfport Community is working tireslessly to change its image one block at a time. For years, leaders in the historic Soria City Community have tried to clean-up and restore the area.
Saturday, they continued their mission with food, fun and fellowship in the 2nd Annual Community Block Festival.
"We're trying to make a lot of improvements. We're trying make it safer for our children and kids here. A lot of people think negatively about the community, and that's why we're trying to do things," said Kimberly Dedeaux, a Soria City resident.
Dorothy MCClendon agrees.
"Soria City is a family. It's a older community, and we have families that date back from even before I was born. What we are about in Soria City is unifying," McClendon says.
McClendon has made it her personal mission to revitilize the historic community.
"We are going to start taking care of our community, cleaning up our community, beautifying and bringing everybody out and just working together," said McClendon.
Her neighbors also agree. Phylis Williams is a long-time Soria City resident. While she remembers what the community used to be, she says its up to her generation to pave the way for the future of the Soria City.
"I think that we should try to pull together and help the community, not down it. We need to try to lift it up," Williams said.
Community members plan to lift the community block by block, and while it was a party Saturday, they know hard work is ahead.
The Soria City Civic Organization plans to paint the entire community. They are still in need of paint and other supplies.