R3SM house gets help from AmeriCorp volunteers - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

R3SM house gets help from AmeriCorp volunteers


Looking at the newly renovated blue house on 301 Bushman Street it's hard to believe three years ago it looked nearly dilapidated. It's the brain child of Sheila Varnado.

"It certainly gives me a confidence level that I didn't have before," said Varnado.

Varnado is the Executive Director of R3SM, which stands for Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi. The group purchased this house in 2009, and started the hard work it would take to make this a haven for volunteers.

"Everything we need to make the house both functional, and comfortable that has been our goal," said Varnado.

These volunteers, Delta Four of AmeriCorps, have put the finishing touches to achieve the goal, helping completely restore the first floor.

Project Outreach Liaison, Gwennan Richmond, says this group has been here for five weeks hand crafting and completing the floor, making it a home for the volunteers that will come to help this area in its time of need.  

"Lots of molding, trim, painting, caulking, repairing. We have sanded all of the floors," Richmond.

The tiles and hardwood were finished by Corps member Bryan Wegman.  

"It's absolutely amazing. It makes you work a lot harder when you got to live in it too," said Wegman.

But the work isn't finished yet there is the second floor to get to, but it won't be transformed, like the first floor, by these guys.  Delta Four's team leader Adam Sievering says they leave Friday. They will head to New Orleans continuing the mission, which keeps him faithful to AmeriCorps.

"It's a modest stipend. It is enough to survive on, but what keeps you going, what keeps you committed to the program is the impact that you have. That way you can really focus on the quality of your work and the impact that you are having with your work, "said Sievering.

If you would like to help R3SM call Varnado at 601-544-5115.

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