Success Story: Rebuilding Lives in Rolling Fork, Mississippi

Rolling Fork Rising

Success Stories from the Field

DSC is thrilled to share with you the inspiring progress made in our ongoing recovery efforts in Rolling Fork, MS, where resilience and community spirit through the challenges left by the March 2023 tornadoes.

Recently, Elizabeth Disco Shearer, CEO of Disaster Services Corporation (DSC), and Cathy Garcia, our Regional Program Manager, joined forces with local Vincentians leaders Carrie Johnson Robinson, Tommy Jordon, and Donavan Guilbeau. Together, they convened in Rolling Fork to assess the impactful work being carried out by the SVDP District Council of Jackson in partnership with Disaster Services Corporation’s local MS staff and Rolling Fork Rising.

During their visit, the group had the opportunity to tour several homes under construction. These homes are not just bricks and mortar; they represent hope and transformation. They are part of a crucial initiative aimed at transitioning renters into homeowners. The initiative, spearheaded by Rolling Fork Rising, provides survivors of the tornadoes with a path towards stability and long-term resilience.

Critical to this program is the commitment to financial literacy. Survivors selected for the Rolling Fork Rising homeowners’ program must undergo a financial literacy program. This equips them with the necessary tools to manage their finances effectively and sustainably. Additionally, they must meet specific minimum income level requirements to qualify for a low-cost mortgage. This mortgage, comparable to their previous rent payments, not only facilitates homeownership but also contributes to building their credit and breaking the cycle of poverty.

We are pleased to share that the survivor receiving the new home is Jamie Herman, who will be paying less for her mortgage than in rent. Our Disaster Case Management Program is enabling her and her family to recover.

Elizabeth Disco-Shearer rightly pointed out that disasters often hit hardest those who are already marginalized, rural, or low-income. In the aftermath, renters are particularly vulnerable, facing a scarcity of affordable housing options. Our collaborative efforts aim to address these vulnerabilities head-on, ensuring that no one is left behind in the recovery process.

Council President Carrie Johnson Robinson eloquently expressed that the presence of Christ is palpable in this recovery work. Indeed, it is through the compassion and dedication of individuals like those involved in this collaborative effort that true change is fostered, and communities are rebuilt stronger than before.

In the image, you'll see the DSC Case Managers Zori Moore and Tifkessica “KeKe” Wilson, alongside Regional Program Manager Cathy Garcia and esteemed community leaders. The program in Rolling Fork is a wonderful example of creating systemic change in the lives of disaster survivors. More about us: