Day 3: East Biloxi launches community-wide rebuilding program

Aman Ali


BILOXI, MISS. — The East Biloxi Coordination and Relief Center has launched a community action plan incorporating Biloxi residents into the Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts. Councilman William Stallworth of Biloxi’s 2nd Ward explained the plan yesterday to around 200 Biloxi residents at a Baptist church in east Biloxi.

“We are asking this community to be a part of the rebuilding process,” Stallworth said. “You are a participant; not a spectator.”

The plan, dubbed the East Biloxi Community Action Plan, consists of six meetings geared to organize local residents’ concerns and execute them effectively — the first meeting being the intro meeting yesterday.

To read Aman’s blog about his own experiences, click here.

Starting Thursday, the EBRC will organize local residents’ problems into a comprehensive database. Sub-committees that the residents can then join will be designed to tackle these problems. Working with professional consultants, the committees will develop detailed plans to solve the issues.

“We learned the hard way that we can’t rebuild this city unless we do it on our own,” Stallworth said. “We don’t need a bunch of outside developers telling us what we need. Who knows better what you need than you?”

A handful of residents who attended the meeting vocalized their concerns with the EBRC’s planning process. Many said the process was too slow.

“As a community, people only want to know if they can rebuild their homes on their property,” Biloxi resident Tracy Smith said. “The main issue right now is people don’t have a place to sleep at night.”

Stallworth expects the East Biloxi Community Action Plan to be completed by early May. The next meeting will be on Thursday.

Check back to throughout the week for daily reports about the volunteers’ efforts.

Contact student affairs reporter Aman Ali at [email protected].