Back home in Biloxi at last - - The News for South Mississippi

Back home in Biloxi at last


Margaret Crawford is back home on Benachi Avenue in Biloxi.

Five and a half years after Katrina pushed the water halfway up her walls, Miss Crawford is celebrating a new beginning with a brand new home.

Volunteers who built the house joined her Friday morning for a dedication.

"Hello Pennsylvania!" shouted a smiling Margaret Crawford, excited about her home dedication ceremony.

Pennsylvania volunteers were on hand to celebrate the home they helped build.  So were crews from New York, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut and West Virginia.

"We look forward to you coming down here. Because when you do, we get a lot of homes accomplished very quickly," said Bill Stallworth, executive director of the Hope Community Development Agency.

"We pray that you bless this house first of all, that it will become the home you intended for it," said the preacher who dedicated the home.

"God bless you all!" added the happy new home owner.

Those who worked on this house say their labor was a blessing. Glen Brubacher came from Ontario, Canada.

"I had an interest in coming down here and being in part of a team.  Beautiful. It was great. It was the best experience I could imagine," he said.

"Come on in, we'll make room for you," said Miss Crawford, as she welcomed guests inside.

Margaret Crawford's laughter and smiles on this dedication day is all the reward the volunteers were after.

"Oh, this is great to be here.  Especially on this beautiful day.  It's just great to see some people get their lives back together. And their homes. We just appreciate what all our volunteers do for us," said volunteer leader, Elam Fisher.

The dedicated work of countless volunteers, means the woman who's lived with her sister in Virginia since the storm is back home in Biloxi.

"I've missed home.  So, I'm glad to be back. If it wasn't for all my volunteers, I probably wouldn't have been back. Thank God it happened the way it did," she said.

The homecoming was made official with a certain piece of paper.

"The certificate of occupancy from the City of Biloxi, which says that you are now officially at home!" said a smiling Bill Stallworth.

Margaret Crawford evacuated to Jackson just before Katrina hit. Her old home, ruined by storm surge, had to be demolished.  She's spent the years since living with a sister in Virginia and dreaming of this happy homecoming.

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