R3SM expanding mission, developing new partnerships

This new logo for R3SM was unveiled Thursday night.
This new logo for R3SM was unveiled Thursday night.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A non-profit organization that's been repairing and rebuilding homes damaged by natural disasters for nearly a decade is broadening its mission to help alleviate substandard housing and chronic poverty. R3SM (Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi) will help low-income people by expanding its service area and establishing new partnerships with lenders and developers.

At an open house Thursday night at the Lucas-Varnado Volunteer House on Buschman Street, the organization unveiled a new logo and announced that it has received a $100,000 grant from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

"We want the communities to know that (R3SM) is not just a temporary situation, because poverty, the need for housing, is not a temporary situation," said Demetria Simpson, executive director of R3SM.

One of the organization's new partners, the Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation, will operate a satellite office at the Volunteer House.

R3SM was founded in 2006 by the United Way of Southeast Mississippi as a long-term recovery agency to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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