Member Spotlights: Back Bay Mission

Rev. James Pennington | Executive Director
Biloxi, MS

Back Bay Mission has had a long history with volunteerism.  Volunteers have been coming to Back Bay Mission since hurricane Camille in 1969.  Following Camille, volunteers were primarily doing clean-up, landscaping, and painting.  When hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2005, Back Bay Mission was managing over 1000 volunteers a week.  Our Housing Recovery Program grew into a more intensive program that not only cleaned-up and painted homes, but literally rebuilt homes so they were more sustainable for years to come.

Today, our Housing Recovery Program utilizes more than 1000 volunteers a year from the East Coast, the Midwest, and the upper Midwest.  Volunteers help with rehabilitation and repair for eligible homeowners, including seniors, low-income families, and disabled persons.  We also utilize volunteers  for our development arm, Gulf Coast Housing Initiative that provides affordable, safe, and dignified housing opportunities for low and moderate income persons and families on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Our volunteer program is intensive and all-encompassing.  We ask that volunteers participate in our Micah Day Center for people experiencing homelessness and our client choice food pantry.  Our volunteers have an opportunity to immerse themselves and deepen their understanding of homelessness and poverty with the goal of taking their experience back to their home community and making a difference there!

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