San Diego Construction Crew Heads To Katrina-Ravaged Mississippi

San Deigo Volunteers Depart Gulf To Help With Repairs

A 20-person, volunteer construction team from San Diego departed for Mississippi on Sunday to help repair homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The group of carpenters, drywall specialists, handymen and electricians was assembled by San Diego-based International Relief Teams in partnership with the San Diego County Katrina Task Force.

Work will be done primarily in the towns of Moss Point, Pascagoula, Ocean Springs and Gautier, where homes have dried out and have been prepared for rehabilitation work, according to IRT.

The team will be the first of six scheduled to travel to the Gulf Coast this year to fix up some of the more than 20,000 homes damage or destroyed in Mississippi alone.

"Most of the displaced families are living in temporary shelters," said Barry La Forgia, executive director of International Relief Teams.

"Many are poor and elderly living on low and fixed incomes," he said. "They cannot afford to rebuild their homes without help."

To date, the San Diego County Hurricane Task Force has raised $85,000 and another $10,000 in donations to cover administrative costs and fees, according to the North County Times.

The bulk of the money, $72,000, was donated by the cities of Del Mar, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido.

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