Community meeting to be held

Published 8:17 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Pearl River County Alliance in conjunction with the Gulf Coast Recovery Transformation Project and the RAND Gulf States Policies Institute Collaborative will hold a community “town hall” meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Picayune at 323 N. Haugh Ave. in Picayune.

The community meeting is being held to obtain community feedback about possible projects with RAND to “improve community health and well-being and the post-Katrina stress that many Pearl River County students and families have experienced,” according to a press release from the Alliance.

Tommy Goode, Gulf Coast Recovery Project coordinator, said in a telephone interview Monday that the purpose of the projects is to be a community-based project for the long-term.

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“We need community feedback to know if this is something that the public wants to do. We will discuss what people think about the mental health concerns that may be Katrina-related, and ask for public input,” Goode said.

Goode said no specific project is in the works, but that this meeting is to get ideas for possible future projects.

“We have not begun a project, because the projects will depend on funding by a study grant through the RAND group. They will also depend on the types of things the community wants to do,” Goode said. “We are also not saying that we have to do this if the funding goes through. We just have the option to go forward if it does.”

The Pearl River County Alliance formed in May and is sponsored by the Gulf Coast Recovery Transformation Project, which is a partnership between World Vision, Tulane University, the RALLY Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. The goal of the Alliance and the GCRTP is to identify assets and strengths within the community and provide the means to develop and strengthen them, Goode said.