Justice For All

The Mississippi Center for Justice Department President and CEO Reilly Morse has provided legal services to low income residents ever since Hurricane Katrina.
News 25’s Kendra Turley caught up with him today at the Ohr O’Keefe Museum as he expands on his goal to reach “justice for all” along the Coast.
When the strong winds and raging water of Hurricane Katrina swept away homes along the coast, many people were in desperate need of food, shelter and legal guidance. Mike Hemsley said, “I even had a friend who was an engineer and he ended up fighting with an insurance company because they were trying to get him to claim more water when it was obvious things were damaged by the wind.”
Reilly Morse, a third generation Gulf Coast lawyer and CEO and President of Mississippi Center for Justice, played a vital role in providing essential legal services to hurricane survivors. “I’m a native. I had the right skills to do some of the advocacy. I understood holding government accountable pretty well.”
Morse helped extended $172 million in housing repairs to over 6,000 families right here along the Gulf Coast. He tells News 25 it may not seem like progress has been made but the Coast is in a better position than years past. “Is justice delayed is the question. We had justice delayed here by many, many years here because of various problems. So, it probably doesn’t feel like we’ve made progress to folks who are only this year getting their housing in order, but yes, we’ve made progress overall in the big picture.”
With the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina 15 days away, Morse tells News 25 he hopes people walk away from his presentation with a more rounded story of the 10 year journey to this point. “We’ve celebrated our successes but it’s important to recognize that we’ve made some missteps along the way.”
Morse is the co-founder of the Steps Coalition and has served on the boards of several non-profits here along the Coast, including the Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation and Hope Community Development.

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