University of Idaho College of Law Public Interest Law Group

Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi


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Walking and knocking for three days was an experience that I will never forget. There were moments of sorrow, moments of tiredness, and moments of joy. It was a new experience, for me, to achieve so much emotion in a single interaction with a person.

As I was learning about what we would be doing in the small Mississippi community of Turkey Creek, I was assuming that there would not be much emotion. Come to find out however that emotion was about all you saw. The emotion of those that you were surveying, emotion from the escorts that were showing you around, and emotion swelling inside yourself.

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Written by jrdo410

March 14, 2008 at 10:18 am


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Over the past week a group of us have been working with the North Gulfport Community Land Trust surveying the northern neighborhood of North Gulfport. On August 29, 2005 the city was hit by the strong eastern side of Hurricane Katrina. Gulfport was devastated. Almost three years later, this community is slowly coming back. There is continuous construction, and the city is placing a special emphasis on development according to Smart Code. Smart Code emphasizes preservation of the historic architecture of a community while also creating walkable communities.

The issue we were surveying involved the plans of the Port Authority to expand the local port. As part of the expansion, the Port Authority is planning to build an inland storage facility in North Gulfport. The proposed storage facility is right in the middle of a neighborhood. The facility will require filling in 70 acres of wetlands, making an already low lying area even more susceptible to flooding. Additionally, the facility will be used to store large containers, machinery, and because the need to refrigerate their cargo, diesel trucks running all night.

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Written by jrdo410

March 14, 2008 at 10:03 am

Track II Update – Biloxi Vietnamese Population Helped by MCJ and Boat People

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Anna and Erika outside a MEMA cottage

Imagine navigating a maze of bureaucracy in the aftermath of a storm. Your house is destroyed, gas and food prices are through the roof. What federal and state grants are available to you? How do you know if you are eligible?


Now imagine trying to navigate this bureaucratic maze in a foreign language. Beyond hello and goodbye, you have almost no English skills whatsoever.

This is exactly what many Vietnamese immigrants are going through right now in Biloxi, MS. There are about 4,500 Vietnamese living in Biloxi right now. Biloxi’s total population is around 50,000, pre-Katrina.

Today I spoke with a Vietnamese man who was living in a mobile home before the storm. His home and everything he owned was destroyed, including all of his tools for work.


Thankfully, there is an organization that can help bridge the information gap. Boat People SOS “Meeting Urgent Needs Today, Empowering Vietnamese Communities for Tomorrow.”


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Written by jrdo410

March 12, 2008 at 6:58 pm