Pass Family Grateful For New Home

The bed frames and mattresses are the only furniture in the house, but Kim Smith and her kids are gladly trading their cramped FEMA trailer for a newly renovated three bedroom home on Sycamore Drive.

"It's just been a blessing from the word 'go.' Even when we weren't in the house, just to have faith and hope that it's going to happen. It's hard watching your children lose everything and to have, like at Christmas, to be able to tell them, 'We're going to buy bedding and we're going to buy furniture and we're going to get you some things, cause you will have a house soon,'" says Kim.

Kim's kids couldn't wait. Kyle, 13, says it's even okay sharing a room with his little brother Christopher.

"This new house, we are so excited to have. It is big. It is not 30 feet long. It is just a blessing to us. We are so happy to have it and we're thankful that we have it," he says.

The Smiths are grateful to contractor Vic Planetta. He bought the waterlogged, mud filled house, totally remodeled the inside and sold it to Kim.

"I think it's a great sign of hope with people living here when somebody drives by. With kids playing in the yard, the lights are on at night, you know. I think it'll be great," says Planetta.

Kim says the Pass is home and she wants her family to be part of its comeback.

"Leaving Pass Christian was not an option. I'm a single mom with three kids and we just wanted to stay in the Pass, so we're going to stay here," she says.

Planetta built Kim's old home in Henderson Point that was destroyed. He says if Kim wants to move back to her old neighborhood, he'll build her another house and buy back the one on Sycamore Drive.