Camp Hope: First multi-purpose center is ready


For hurricane recovery to continue on the coast, volunteers need a place to stay and materials to work with. On Sunday, April 15, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and Mississippi United Methodist Katrina Recovery will celebrate the completion of the first of three facilities meant to house volunteers and store building materials.

"It has been a long process to get this first one erected and ready, but God has provided and we are to that point," said Robert Sharp, recovery director. 

The facility, called Camp Hope, is located on the grounds of Vancleave United Methodist Church in Jackson County. You are invited to attend the dedication at 3 p.m. on April 15.

"It is full of materials and will be full of volunteers," said Sharp. "We have been able to save nearly 50 percent on materials for homes by buying contractor kits and in bulk; that alone will more than pay for the cost of the buildings in the long run."

"It is truly amazing how God has provided for this first building," he continued. "No UMCOR direct assistance money was spent on it. The money has come from grants, churches, and individuals who have seen the need for it, and hopefully more will see the need to help with the next two."

The second multi-purpose building is underway at Nugent, while the third facility is still in the planning stages. These multi-purpose centers will provide housing for volunteers and storage space for building materials for the years of Katrina recovery ahead and in future disasters.

Bishop Ward asked each church in the conference to receive Lenten offerings to help complete the three facilities. "Your offerings will bless the hundreds of families awaiting assistance by ensuring a continuous flow of volunteers and materials," said Ward.

Nearly 100,000 people on the Gulf Coast still live in temporary housing 20 months after Hurricane Katrina.