Women's organization finds permanent home

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Members of one South Mississippi service organization are doing their part to help women cope the economy and other social issues plaguing our community.

Monday, Coastal Women for Change dedicated its new building.

"It means so much to be in our own space," said Executive Director Sharon Hanshaw.

Coastal Women for Change now has a new Biloxi address, not to mention a renewed spirit of what's to come.

"The people that I met through this walk, they're healing and they're helping me to do for my community," said Hanshaw.

In 2006, Hanshaw and 25 Biloxi women formed the organization that's dedicated to rebuilding the Gulf Coast.

"We're not the kind of organization that's reactive. We're definitely proactive. We're definitely proactive," said Hanshaw.

The women have traveled the world serving as ambassadors of the coast.

Cass Woods has been a South Mississippi resident for nearly 20 years. She's also one of the founding members of CWC.

"I could have easily packed up and left. I thought about it. But after realizing the devastation that was here, I couldn't go," said Woods.

She stayed and so did several others.

"A lot of us realize we have similarities and needs and in doing that we can come together and help each other," said Woods.

Now what started as a small organization with a couple of women is now a massive service organization for women along the Gulf Coast. There are now more than 100 active members of Coastal Women for Change.

Leaders say the organization is expanding by offering new senior services, a childcare center and youth leadership programs.

The new CWC office is located at 989 Howard Avenue in Biloxi.