Building a Future

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When we first introduced you to Denese Lassair and her family, their situation was pretty grim.

"I wish we were back at home, because this situation we're living in," said Lassair, shaking her head, during an interview in September.

Displaced from her home in New Orleans, Denese brought her family to Meridian to seek temporary shelter with relatives. Shortly afterward, her family moved on to try to make a way for themselves in Dallas. Now she's back in Meridian. And after salvaging what she could from New Orleans, she’s making a home for her family here in Meridian.

"Right now, I need a slow pace instead of a fast pace. And Dallas was too fast to deal with everything going on in my head, trying to go ahead and deal with life period. So right now, Meridian is what I need," said Lassair.

Denese and her family are one of several in our area making strides toward getting back on their feet. Love City Fellowship has helped more than 80 families begin this recovery process.

"Many of the families now have jobs. There are several who now have furnishings in the home. Many of them, if they have not found jobs, are out actively looking for employment," said the Rev. Lamorris Richardson, pastor of the church. "There seems to be a peace now where many of them that, either they're going to stay here or they're going to go back. And I've seen many say, well listen, I'm going to make Meridian my home."

Pastor Richardson says simply deciding where "home" will be is one of the biggest steps toward recovery for those who were displaced by Katrina. Denese Lassair agrees with his theory.

"I'm not used to living in hotels. I'm not used to living in apartments. I'm not used to living with anyone. I'm used to living in my own house, so right now this is going to be home," Lassair said.