Rent vs. wages: What's available unaffordable

As a cashier making above minimum wage, Christale Thomas could easily do the math: Her paycheck minus expenses equaled a renter's nightmare.

"I couldn't even afford a one-bedroom apartment that cost more than $500," said Thomas of Jackson, a single parent with three children.

"I was trying to find a place in a decent neighborhood with a decent school; I finally had to get on a waiting list for low-income housing. It was a very long list."

Coalition worries Port will lower quality of life

GULFPORT -- The Steps Coalition voiced concerns Monday that poor, mostly minority neighborhoods would unfairly suffer as a result of the Port of Gulfport’s expansion plans.

The group gathered in front of the former 28th Street Elementary School for a news conference Monday where they said areas near downtown and North Gulfport would be subject to air pollution, traffic congestion and the loss of their quality of life as a result of the Port plan. They also worry about whether people would lose their homes to make way for new transportation routes to the Port.

Expo offers info on what to do before, after disasters strike

Betty Lee knows what she'd do if a tornado threatened her Jackson home.

"I'd go get in the bathtub," said Lee, 67.

She found out Tuesday that there's so much more to disaster preparedness: Gathering legal documents into a notebook or envelope, ready to grab and carry to safety, for one.

Being prepared also means making sure she knows how to recognize an unscrupulous contractor who wants to take her money, but not the wind-toppled trees in her yard.

Brookings Institution Press forum to feature Katrina recovery work

The 2005 storms that devastated the Gulf region will long be studied by policy analysts, historians, and social commentators for their size and impact. Since 2005, the world has witnessed new devastation with earthquakes in Haiti and China, floods in Pakistan, and the tsunami that wiped out huge portions of Japan and its landscape, with an overwhelming loss of life. Closer to home, tornados obliterated much of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri. Leaders worldwide continue to turn to the Gulf Coast in search of lessons learned.

Post Katrina Housing Battles Continue

NPR recently visited Mississippi Center for Justice to follow-up on Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Visit this link to hear audio and read transcripts from their stories.

Veteran civil rights attorneys honored

Two veteran attorneys who have championed justice and civil rights for citizens will be honored today at the Jackson Convention Complex.

Constance Slaughter-Harvey and Rob McDuff will be celebrated for their work by the nonprofit Mississippi Center for Justice.

"These two remarkable Mississippians have each spent a lifetime of work protecting civil rights and advancing justice for everyone in our state," said Martha Bergmark, founding president of the Mississippi Center for Justice.

Last state recovery program to begin

GULFPORT -- The last Katrina recovery program for homeowners, the Neighborhood Home Program, is behind schedule but repairs should begin next month on the first of thousands of homes.

Irene Walker, 83, has been living with family members since the hurricane because she did not qualify for earlier homeowner programs crafted by the federal and state governments. Her home in the Soria City community of south central Gulfport will be one of the first repaired because it is uninhabitable.

The worst state in America to have HIV

Recently, an elderly woman in Mississippi was left alone on the curb outside a hospital emergency room. The woman didn’t have a medical emergency. She’d been dumped by the nursing room employees who had learned that she had HIV, according to a lawyer at the Mississippi Center for Justice to whom she was eventually referred.

Federal agency wants record of benefit from federal grants at Port of Gulfport

GULFPORT, Miss. — The federal government is now demanding that Gulfport state port officials start to track the number and type of jobs a $621 million port expansion will create.

The port is expected to receive a total of $621 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for an 84-acre restoration and elevation of the West Pier that will more than quadruple container capacity by 2017.

The port secured the money with the promise that 51 percent of jobs created by the project would be offered to low and moderate-income residents.

HUD demands port track jobs

GULFPORT -- Residents have asked state port officials for more than a year to track the number and kinds of jobs a massive port expansion will create. The federal government is now demanding it.

The port is expected to receive a total of $621 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for an 84-acre restoration and elevation of the West Pier that will more than quadruple container capacity by 2017. The port secured the money with the promise that 51 percent of jobs created by the project would be offered to low and moderate-income residents.

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