Two Gautier Families Receive Habitat Homes

Rebecca Borden and Becky Johnson could not wait to move a few items into their new homes, even if they're not officially theirs yet. Borden and Johnson are single parents who've struggled to make the best of what they had.

"It was extremely hard. Many days I had to get on my knees and pray cause I thought I was going to break down," Borden said.

"Very hard, doubled up, one sleeping on the couch, but we did it," Johnson said.

Habitat for Humanity has made what was once only a dream, a reality.

"I screamed for two days because it was very exciting," Johnson said.

"I will never forget it. I just went to jumping up and down for joy," Borden said.

Being able to call themselves homeowners is special for Johnson and Borden, and it's special for Habitat for Humanity in Jackson County too. This marks the first time the group has built and finished two homes at the same time in Jackson County.

"We have never dedicated two homes at one time. We never dedicated two houses in one year," Chapter President Latan Griffin said.

Griffin credits the rapid building to both local and out of state volunteers, monetary donations from across the country, and the need for affordable housing post Katrina.

"We are growing at a astronomical rate. We are building ten homes right now, we have built five houses since the storm," Griffin said.

"One hundred thousand volunteers have come down to the Gulf Coast, not just for Habitat, but to help everyone rebuild. The money Habitat has gotten is close to $100 million in donations. "

Habitat has set even bigger goals for next year, with plans to build homes and futures for 40 more people like Johnson and Borden.