Track 3 ~ Economic Sustainability

While working with the Mississippi Center for Justice my eyes have been opened to the need in small communities such as this.  There is a huge need for legal assistance and even if you can only provide an hour here or there, a lot can be accomplished.   We spoke with a client this morning in order to assist him in establising a Limited Liability Corporation.  He needed help navigating a complex legal system.   We were able to assist him in filing court documents and also finalized them for mailing.  It was such a great feeling to see a corporation forming from beginning to end.  We even assisted in selecting the name for his LLC.  This ultimately will protect him from any type of law suit in the event his tenants or anyone were to pursue legal action.  My first thought was that he didn’t really need help because he was a landlord likely to be well off.  When actually,  he desperately needed help to protect his home because the rental properties were inherited and he has the responsibility to maintain them even if renters don’t pay.  He also works extremely hard being the maintenance man, plumber, electrician and any other role that may be required in order to make his individual scenario work.  He had over 25 grandchildren who he was also concerned about providing for not to mention his children.  The story was just fascinating and it felt so good to be able to really help make a difference in his life. 


Also, the weather is just simply beautiful here.  There has not been a single cloud in the sky since we arrived on Monday.  I can’t believe the coastal water, but what is most surprising is how close to the beach some of the homes and resorts are built.  There are no barriers such as the dunes in North Carolina for instance.  When we arrived the first day I was amazed that the Mississippi Department of Transportation formed a “loop” exiting the interstate where the roadway actually extends out into the ocean.  It really brought the point home on how Katrina blasted this area because there wasn’t any real natural protection and how the whole community was directly susceptible to the direct effects of the storm.  Additionally, with the storm this part of the area lost so many historic landmarks it has been difficult to rebuild, but the community here and everyone we have interacted with this week is determined to stay and make the community thrive once again just as before.  The sense of passion has been really insightful.  It makes me want to have a greater pride in the community I live and take more proactive measures to make a difference there as well. 

Right now I’m sitting at a streets side café enjoying the sun and the clear blue sky.  This week has been a time of reflection and self-renewal inspired by the precious individuals who have impacted our lives this week while trying to serve them.  The sense of kindness and overwhelming acceptance is a concept I will try to further in my everyday life upon my return to North Carolina.  It is a great feeling to be able to serve others but it’s amazing how much they give to us in the process.  This experience is irreplaceable and I would not take anything for our time here.  Here’s to Mississippi and the Mississippi Center for Justice for having us.  I will definitely be back!

~Randi 2L


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