Off We Go
Thursday 17 November 2005, 8:12 am
Mark and Mary will be in Mississippi for the next two weeks.
We will be involved with CityTeam
who is doing hurricane relief work
in the Gulfport area. The web
site won't receive any significant updates during that time.
The exception would be that I hope to post our experiences to the blog
if we can obtain computer access.
CityTeam started running a shelter and kitchen called the
San Jose Rescue Mission
over 20 years ago. Their specialty is running shelters for the homeless
and those with substance abuse problems. They now run shelters in
several cities around the country. The government specifically
asked them to help in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina due to their
experience running shelters. They are committed to remaining in the
gulf area for one year.
CityTeam brings groups of about 20 volunteers to Mississippi in
two-week shifts. Our group leaves today (Nov 17) and returns Dec 2.
We don't know exactly what we'll be doing, but I hope to let you know
as it happens if possible.
A few things we do know: CityTeam is working with at least one shelter
in the Gulfport area that has housed up to 500 people at one time in
the past. (The numbers housed in the shelters vary widely as new
shelters are opened and closed.)
They are also working with a couple of churches in the area.
One early project involved putting a roof on a church that had been
damaged. It was during this project that hurricane Rita hit, causing an
evacuation of the team and the destruction of their encampment, but
miraculously, no damage to the church or its new but unfinished roof.
Most of the current projects involve cleaning the interior of buildings
that have been damaged but repaired, helping the displaced to find their
families and apply for government resources, and helping to retrieve
personal belongings from properties that have been destroyed.