HOPE CDA helps Gulfport grandmother rehab home

Betty Armstrong sits with her three grandchildren in their home in Gulfport.
Betty Armstrong sits with her three grandchildren in their home in Gulfport.
Volunteers help rehab Betty Armstrong's home.
Volunteers help rehab Betty Armstrong's home.
Dozens of volunteers helped rehab Betty Armstrong's Gulfport home.
Dozens of volunteers helped rehab Betty Armstrong's Gulfport home.

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Imagine taking in three children at the age of 70. To top it off, your home is barely livable and there seems to be nowhere to turn.

That's exactly what happened to Betty Armstrong, 70.

Just when she felt that she had lost it all, a local organization stepped in giving her just enough hope to keep moving.

For the past few years, life has been anything, but easy for Armstrong. The Gulfport resident has endured her share of hardships and pain.

"It began when I lost my daughter and I had to take the three boys in. I had went to RID and others to get help and they really just turned me down. A lady recommended HOPE," Armstrong said.

That recommendation gave Armstrong the relief she so desperately needed.

Her home was barely livable after suffering heavy damage from Hurricane Katrina. The wiring so bad that at one point the home even caught fire.

After meeting a woman with the HOPE Community Development Agency (CDA), that all changed.

"I called HOPE and talked to Ashley. I explained to her what had happened and she got it started. It's been rolling ever since. She told me she was going to do everything she could to help. Especially to give the boys a comfortable place to live," Armstrong said.

For this family, a good night's sleep was long overdue.

Shortly after that devastating blow from Hurricane Katrina, Armstrong's son-in-law passed away.

Just six short days later his wife, who is also her daughter, passed away, resulting in their children now being in her care.

Somehow throughout all this misfortune, not once did she waiver in her faith.

"I believe in God and I know he can do anything, but fail. Things happen for a reason. My daughter passed at an early age, she was only 34. I feel like he put me here for this purpose and he's going to take care of me, as I take care of her kids. After he's carried her on home," Armstrong said.

In December of 2011 HOPE CDA began work on the home, bringing every aspect of it back to life.

A gesture that HOPE CDA Director Bill Stallworth said is the least his organization could do.

"This is a family that has gone through and was at the brink. The house was in bad shape, it was falling down. We were able to get her qualified to get back in this home, so this is a joyous day for us," Stallworth said.

For the Armstrong family that joy is even more intense.

"It just means a lot. It let me know there are some people that really care. Regardless of what it is, if you trust in God, he'll send somebody along to help you out," Armstrong said.

After what seemed like years of storms for Armstrong and her family, the sun is shining and once again and life is in full bloom.

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