Today was a very needed day. Setting out in pairs we made our way through downtown Biloxi meeting people and gathering needs to report back to the organizing church. They are currently working on setting up a free laundry since many people are finding it impossible to wash their clothing. There are no laundrymats and most people no longer have washing machines or dryers personally available. Simple tasks, but essential tasks, such as staying clean have become exceedingly difficult. The only way to know what these simple tasks are, however, is by listening and this is the task we are given by our host church - to meet people and listen to their needs so that they might be effectively met.

What an experience. The diversity of views, the diversity of personalities, the diversity of realities became a singular experience. The people we talked with needed to talk and we needed to listen. Hopefully things will happen because of it. The letter below is a letter written by Emily and myself to a woman we met this afternoon. Her house is moved about 45 feet back into her yard away from the stoop. All that remains in place is the front steps. She does not have the resources to move her house back over or to rebuild, but her spirit is true. FEMA brought her a gas trailer rather than an electric trailer, and being as she is on oxygen because of asbestos she remains without a home. She told us her family history, the neighborhood history and the importance of her life. We talked with her for just over two hours. She will stay with us as we continue to open our eyes to the realities that are so present in the lives of so many of our fellow people.

Hannah Hofheinz

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