Students wrap up service work in Pearlington

PEARLINGTON, MS (WLOX) - 15 students from The University of Pennsylvania are wrapping up their tour of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The students have traveled to the coast for the past two years, to do community outreach and help people post-Katrina.

It was a day of fun and dancing, but while this may look like a celebration, people who came to Pearlington Saturday afternoon got more than just a good time.

Connie Hoe is one of dozens of students who made the trip from Pennsylvania to South Mississippi.

Now, as the group wraps up its final tour of the coast, they want to make sure South Mississippians are aware of their resources.

"Our goal is to increase awareness about the importance of health, especially post disaster," said Hoe.

In partnership with Hancock Medical and the Rotary Club, students organized this massive health fair. And while they've accomplished awareness in one area, it's the plaguing housing problem that still weighs heavy on their minds.

"I think it's someone's human right to have housing and a safe place to be. It's a violation of human rights," said Karlyn Flynn.

These students study social policies, and they can't believe the housing crisis on the coast.

"There are a lot of people whose houses aren't up to code yet. So they can't move in, and now their MEMA Cottages are going to be taken," said Flynn.

"It's so scary to think that the government thinks that's okay to put people out on the street when they have no place to go. Even though the cottages may not be the best, but they are all they have," said student Lavante Dorsey. "So to take that away is just outrageous."

But instead of complaining, these students plan to share the stories from the coast with their fellow classmates, in hopes of one day making an even greater impact.