January 15, 2008 Major Habitat for Humanity Effort in Jackson County By Keli Rabon WLOX
Several families from across the Coast had a special reason to celebrate today, as Habitat for Humanity dedicated nine homes in the Vancleave area. Keli Rabon caught up with one of the lucky new homeowners.
The Smith family is beginning a very bright future thanks to Habitat for Humanity.
“This is the first home I’ve ever had of my own. But this is home.”
Bettie Smith has lived in a FEMA trailer since Katrina swept away her Biloxi apartment. She loved her trailer, but this three bedroom home that she and countless Habitat volunteers built is what Smith calls a miracle.
“From one blessing to another blessing and it seems like it has been that way since Katrina.”
Case worker Erica Higgs says Smith has unselfishly given of herself for years, even though she needed so much. “She’s a lifelong committed volunteer. She has logged hundreds and hundreds of hours, just traveling around volunteering with the elderly and the sick. She literally runs herself ragged.”
In addition, Smith cares for her 38 year old disabled son and her 6 year old great granddaughter. Without Habitat’s help, this family would never have been able to live under the same roof.
“I feel so unworthy of what God has done for me, because I feel blessed above all blessings.”
Though she’s lost several houses in the past, Smith says this time, she and her family have finally come home.
“They gave me a new beginning and hope for my son, especially for my son.”
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of US policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
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