Community of Hope
COH has a new website! Please visit www.communityofhopems.org.
Mission Statement: To provide compassionate services and assistance to individuals, families and children during times of need or emergency crisis. To provide opportunity for volunteers to serve the community.
Purpose: To foster dignity, self-respect and self-esteem as people work through bumps in the road due to facing tough times. We will provide opportunities for persons to volunteer to help others by doing construction projects such as rebuild a home after a disaster, repair roofs, floors or walls or just replacing a light bulb or other maintenance work for those that cannot do it.
Background: Prior to the arrival of Katrina the community, churches, agencies and local government offices took care of those in need in the area. Volunteers from churches and our neighbors in Jackson and George county’s worked together to answer the needs of our residents, it was a way of life to care for each other just as we had been taught over the years growing up in Mississippi. If someone needed food they gave them food, if they needed help with finding employment they pulled together to find work for them. Whatever the need, the community used the resources in place to help all individuals in need.
A short time after Katrina hit the area many very large disaster recovery groups descended on the area bringing with them thousands of volunteers, large sums of money for recovery work as they took over the recovery operations. They built and rebuilt homes, set up clothing drops, locations for people to obtain food, temporary housing and provided almost everything the area needed to rebuild after the storm. Many of the residents of the local community who had been helping the neighbors were no longer needed. Of course when all the volunteers came, we had to find work for them and allow them to spend the money that had been donated by people all over the world. Suddenly the local churches and neighbors discovered their help was no longer needed and in some cases maybe even discouraged.
Now the volunteer disaster teams are leaving for the next new disaster and the money is drying up, but yet problems still remain. There are still many homes to rebuild or construct that for whatever reason was missed or others that are just now returning to the area, or finding out that they qualified for help. Some people were just too proud to ask for help and now find they cannot do it without some help.
In many cases things have gotten worse for members of the community due to the major down turn in the economy. Some have lost jobs; others have had shoddy contractors take their money and not complete the job or left with the job being of very poor quality. Still others have not rebuilt their lives even now and have given up hope and turned to alcohol or drugs. Some families are dealing with breakups of a marriage brought on by not knowing how to cope with the storm or lost of income.
The corporate volunteer disaster teams have left and still we have needs. It is time for the community to step in and once again administer to those in need in our community. Working with local churches and other volunteer services in the community, our new ministry, Community of Hope plans to continue the work of the disaster teams until we reach every person in need of our help.
For more information, please e-mail Marley Walker at email@example.com.
Please pray for our ministry.