PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The American dream came true Friday for a Pascagoula woman and her father, thanks to the tireless efforts of dozens of Habitat for Humanity volunteers.
First the Unity Circle and Habitat pledge, then the symbolic handing over of a bible and house keys. This home new belongs to Jackie Dodds, and her father, Annias Fortenberry.
"I thank God for it and this house means everything for me," Dodds said. "It's to have a legacy for my kids and their kids and their kids and that way I won't be forgotten when I'm gone."
Also not forgotten is what his house means for the people who helped build it. Paul Waters was one of them.
"It's the fruition of a lot of effort, time, emotion and everything and it's just great to see it all come together as a completed project where someone like Ms. Jackie has what she's dreamed of," Waters said.
An added benefit is the home is LEED certified Platinum. It's incredibly energy efficient, from the appliances and fans to everything else.
Heidi Schattin works with Habitat For Humanity.
"We did water efficient landscaping, took a very low impact way of doing construction, so very minimal waste, low eaved windows with good solar panel efficiency, and a reflective metal roof," Schattin explained.
One of the greatest misconceptions that Habitat officials have fought over the years is the belief that their homes are giveaway homes. They stress, that is simply not true. These homes are just like any other.
Tomesha Johnson works in client services for Habitat.
"With Habitat properties, they are really no different than buying in the open market," Johnson said. "They are actually sold at appraised value. The clients have to work on either establishing or improving credit to a point where they will qualify for financing."
A similar dedication will be held in the near future because another Habitat home is under construction a few houses down on School Avenue in Pascagoula.