May 11, 2008
Carter visit opens tonight in Biloxi
Sunday, May 11, 2008
PASCAGOULA -- Opening ceremonies begin tonight to mark former President Jimmy Carter's visit to the Gulf Coast, which includes at least two stops in Pascagoula this week.
The Carters' visit today through Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, which partners with Habitat for Humanity. More than 250 houses will be built throughout the Gulf Coast by the end of this year as part of the program, according to a Habitat for Humanity news release.
A ceremony will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Biloxi's Yankie Stadium in honor of the thousands of volunteers who will work alongside the Carters. The Mississippi Mass Choir is scheduled to perform. Volunteers began arriving along the Gulf Coast on Saturday and are scheduled to continue coming in today.
On Monday, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter begin work at 8 a.m. in Pascagoula, where houses will be built on a one-block area near School Avenue and Pascagoula Street. Wall raisings will take place on the first day and volunteers will continue with construction for the remainder of the week.
The Carters will travel to a work site in Mobile on Tuesday and at another work site in New Orleans on Wednesday. From New Orleans, the Carters will work in Covington, La., on Thursday and in Diamondhead on Friday.
The couple will return to Pascagoula on Friday to inspect the progress there, and home dedications are scheduled for that afternoon.
Closing ceremonies will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Yankie Stadium.
After Hurricane Katrina created a void in the affordable housing market along the Gulf Coast, Habitat for Humanity and the Carters chose the area for the program's silver anniversary, Habitat officials have said.
A major partner in this year's build is the Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In January 2007, separate Habitat for Humanity chapters in Harrison and Jackson counties merged to form Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast to meet the affordable housing needs created by Katrina.
Since the merger, more than 190 homes have been completed or are under construction, a news release said.