Homes for the Homeless

From two to ten additional; that's how much Meridian resident Diane Hopkins family has expanded within the last week. Since the storm Hopkins has welcomed not one, not two, but three evacuated families to stay at her home.

"It just broke my heart to see those children. I just wanted to do something," says Hopkins.

Ask any members of these families and Hopkins has done more than just helped in someway but to them she's helped in one of the most important ways and that's in providing a home.

"What was your biggest interest when you were in New Orleans?” “Games,” says 12-year-old New Orleans evacuee David Fleming. "What is your biggest concern now?” “Being at a house!”

"We're so grateful for what she's done for us. She's opened up her home for us. We can't thank her enough," says New Orleans evacuee Jeanette Dupre.

Jeanette and her husband Anthony lived in New Orleans. They say they lost everything and are now planning to start anew in Meridian. However, it's not easy.

"I feel like I ain't doing nothing and I don't feel right about that because daily I was working and now I don't have anything coming in," says Anthony. "To have a job would help!"

Meanwhile, it's help from the community, shelter officials, and Diane which is making such a difference to Oswald Fleming, his wife Dianne and their two grandchildren, David and five-year-old Ezzence.

"It's so much of a relief that we can get back to normal living," says Oswald. "We can take a shower and have our own privacy in our rooms and a backyard to maybe go sit down."

As for Fleming's feelings about his new blended family…

"When you react in the love of God and don't see people's color and race, it's just about caring for one another."

"There are so many churches in this town," says Father Mike Dobrosky with Church of the Mediator. "If I could just make an appeal that if every church could adopt one or two families and we could start doing some stuff here for the good of the community and for the folks who've been affected by this horrible tragedy."

"We've just got to do what's in front of us," says Hopkins. "They are humans! They need help!"


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