Habitat for Humanity returns to Pearl River County

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016

After Hurricane Katrina, there were families in Pearl River County without homes.

While most of the people along the Gulf Coast were without a place to live because of storm damage, families in Pearl River County were without a place to call their own for a much different reason, the inability to secure a home loan, or low income.

In the years before and after Katrina, there was an organization that worked to build affordable homes for these families in need, Habitat for Humanity.

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More than a dozen structures were built in the city limits of Picayune and in the county.

Through the donations of time and effort by many people, some coming from as far away as Pennsylvania, these homes were built in a matter of days, providing these residents with a piece of the American dream.

And that was not all the organization did.

While no homes were washed away by storm surge in this county, wind and falling trees damaged some homes.

Habitat for Humanity provided a helping hand to some of those homeowners.

The organization’s volunteers conducted repairs to about 200 homes damaged by the storm.

Over the past several years, news about Habitat for Humanity operating in Pearl River County has waned.

But that’s about to change. Now that the Habitat for Humanity Bay-Waveland Area has taken Pearl River County under its wing, more visible efforts are promised in this area.

That’s great news. Because Habitat for Humanity does not provide grants or make donations. It provides families with a way to secure a home, by paying a mortgage and providing sweat equity, which means they either have to help build their own home, or help the organization build someone else’s home.

By prompting recipients to become involved by paying for the home and helping in the construction of one, these soon-to-be new homeowners will gain a sense of responsibility.

We look forward to covering the stories Habitat for Humanity will share with Pearl River County residents.