Sunday, March 25, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Kneeling: Paula Zimmer, Stephanie Schlatter, Josh Papapietro, Alexander Kalife, Kristina da Fonseca, Kelly Koch
This picture was taken outside the office of the MS Center for Justice - the organization we have been working with this week. Check out their website at www.mscenterforjustice.org
Kneeling: Keith Grompone, Alexander Kalife, Josh Papapietro, Kristina da Fonseca, Kelly Koch
This picture was taken at the Katrina Memorial, across the street from the Beau Rivage Casino on Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, MS. The collage of materials in the glass case are remains of belongings salvaged from the storm - broken dishes, a police badge, little league trophies, and other memorabilia.
Two of our 1L volunteers, Ryan Agnew and Jeremy Bramson, met a wondeful woman on Monday - Latrice Smith. Her story was so compelling that we decided to go back on Tuesday and record an interview with her on a camcorder. She told of living in the Ladner public housing years ago and working her way out of it through hard work and dedication - only to be forced back there after Katrina. Her faith is strong and the love she has for her daughters is overwhelming. Latrice is not looking for a handout - she wants to be treated with basic human dignity and that has not happened. The residents in her community are being told a number of contradictory stories about the future of their housing and what is going to happen to them. They have yet to be given a straight answer. Latrice is the perfect example of a human being who has endured indescribable tragedy, yet still finds a way each day to make the life of her children better. Latrice said it best, "Our government failed."
Monday, March 19, 2007
"One of the best parts about the first day of outreach is how excited many of the people are that we want to visit with them. We met unbelievable people with unforgettable stories and all of them thanked us for going to check on them and to make them aware of available services."
Kelly Koch, 3L (in the green shirt)
Synoposis of the First Day:Our first day at the Mississippi Center for Justice was everything we thought it would be and more. The work they are doing is great and everyone at the office is so energetic about the work. We spent the morning learning about the different projects we have the opportunity to work on this week and then in the afternoon we did some outreach work with residents of a public housing community. Many of them have been told very different stories about what is in their future as far as the housing goes - and they really are being given no assistance. Many were displaced from a variety of environments and the conditions they are being asked to live in are less than acceptable. There are also residents who have been there for over 15 years and are being threatened with relocation. The center will be compiling information based on our interviews. Residents were also asked to sign releases so that the center can work on their behalf. Some residents agreed, but others seem very wary about signing anything for fear of retribution. There is so much work to be done and the people are so thankful to just have someone listening to them - and what is even more apparent is that they are not asking for much. Just minimal housing and dignity.
We met some special residents and lots of adorable little kids - we thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of the group and also some of the residents we met.
She was so excited that our group was coming to the coast to help people. It is in honor of her memory that I am working this week.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
We found a great barbecue place - The Shed - Exit 57 off I90. It was great!
Will post more tomorrow after our first day.
I will post pictures during our trip - and will try to make some of the pictures before/after pics.
We will be doing volunteer legal work with the Mississippi Center for Justice and I will share that work as well.