BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - What can help East Biloxi thrive and succeed?
That’s the question the East Biloxi Community Collaborative will be asking residents over the next few months. It’s all part of an assessment aimed at breaking down barriers in the community.
“A lot of us grew up here in East Biloxi. I grew up here in East Biloxi, and I want to see East Biloxi thrive, and it just isn’t growing at the same rate as other parts of Biloxi," said EBCC Program Director Allytra Perryman.
Perryman said they’re launching the comprehensive needs assessment to find out directly from East Biloxians what they need to succeed.
“We want residents to be honest with us about their community and the things that they like about their community and things they want to change in their community,” she said.
“Since that time, the residents of the area have changed, some of the services have changed. So we’re updating that needs assessment to see if we’re still on target to meet the needs of the community,” Perryman said.
Over the next several months, the EBCC will conduct surveys as well as focus groups and community meetings with residents.
The assessment findings will be finalized by the end of the year and used by organizations to develop or enhance programs and services in the community.
Perryman said, ultimately, the goal is to break down barriers to success, such as those keeping East Biloxians from higher paying jobs.
“People who work in East Biloxi earn far less than people who live in other areas of Biloxi. A great deal of people who work and live in East Biloxi work in the service industry in entry level positions, and it’s very difficult to meet household bills on minimum wage,” she said.
However, she stressed the assessment won’t just focus on the bad but will also bring light to the good of East Biloxi.
“There is a lot of culture and history in East Biloxi and pride, and we want to keep that intact. So we want to talk about the assets that are in East Biloxi as well," she said.
The group will host a kick off party for the assessment this Tuesday starting at 6 p.m. at Nichols Elementary School.
Every one is invited to attend to meet with the researchers who will be working on this project.