Santa Barbara Residents, Businesses Give New Home To Coast Woman

Gaynell Acker of Bay St. Louis received a Christmas gift Friday that a lot of people on the coast would love to have - a brand new home.

The 67-year-old's Ballentine Street home was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. But now, thanks to a Santa Barbara California construction company and the people of that community, Acker has a new place to call home.

The folks in Santa Barbara raised about $95,000 for the project.

The pre-fabricated house was constructed by volunteers in California before it was shipped to Mississippi in pieces. It took workers just five and a half weeks to put it together, just in time for Christmas.

"Straight from heaven. Pure angles, that's what they are," Gaynell Acker said.

"I really hope this is an inspiration to the rest of the country that we can do something. I mean, we as Americans must help other Americans," Ian Cronshaw, Vice President of Allen & Associates, said.

And the gifts didn't end there for Miss Acker. A Santa Barbara furniture store also donated all of the furnishings for her new home.