Biloxi Woman Welcomes Home Building Volunteers

Volunteers at work are an answered prayer on Bellman Avenue. The work crews, organized by Back Bay Mission, are building a house.

"The church asked and I said, 'Yes,'" said Bob Hemmer from New Hampshire.

He brought willing hands and a knowledge of building to this mission project in Biloxi.

"Over the years, I just accumulated all this information. And I used it to build my houses and things like that. But I had the opportunity to give it back. And I did," he said.

The lady with the wonderful smile at the work site is Patience Harris. It's her new home the visiting volunteers are working on.

"I am so happy. I'm going to have me a house. And a beautiful home," she said.

"We're going to be running our joists out this way," said one volunteer, while positioning a board in place.

Volunteers who are happy to help, may not be aware of how much happiness this new home represents. You see, Patience Harris not only endured Katrina, she then faced the agony of losing her life savings to a bad contractor.

"Very tough. Because I was swindled out of my money. $55,000. But things are looking up now," she said.

The team of volunteers is laying the framework for a house, and helping restore hope to a home owner who has endured much.

Debbie Duthorn came from Illinois to help with the mission project.

"And you guys have really blessed all of us too. Just being able to come down and share our talents and our time. That's nice. That's nice to do," she said.

Back Bay Mission organized the volunteers, while the East Biloxi Recovery and Relief Agency helped pay for the project.

After months of worry and doubt, one Bellman Avenue resident sees brighter days ahead.

"Much brighter. Thank God," said the smiling Patience Harris.