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Providing Child Care in Biloxi

  • August 29, 2007

For Carol Burnett of Biloxi’s Moore Community House, the second year of the Katrina recovery has been full of “delays and hurdles at every turn” but nonetheless, a time of progress.

Moore Community House was founded in 1924 to serve Biloxi’s poorest neighborhoods, providing many services including day care and children’s health and welfare services.  Many of their buildings were destroyed by the hurricane, which meant that the first year following Katrina was filled with gutting and demolition plus the challenges of raising funds for reconstruction.

Sleeping Baby

“When we were poised to move forward, it took us a year to get the building permit.  There were so many bureaucratic challenges with the city,” says Ms. Burnett, who is Moore’s executive director.

Despite the challenges, Moore was able to find interim space and return to providing child care in January 2007.  With the support of a $100,000 grant from AmeriCares, the child care program will move into its new permanent home later this month.

“Child care is still a great need,” says Ms. Burnett.  “We are very close to opening our new facility, which will have space for 70 kids, from birth to age three, to be enrolled.  We are going from 24 children pre-Katrina to 70 children after.  The enrollment filled up immediately due to the demand.”

With the children well taken care of, Ms. Burnett is now laying out plans for their mothers.  “There is a fair amount of employment here related to construction, and we are now planning to get women more involved in these types of jobs. We’d like to take advantage of this situation to benefit our children’s mothers, so that they can increase their earning power.”