For Rochelle Gaddis, the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of her new home was one marked with celebration and remembrance.
"It's not about me. It's about bringing this family back on this land. Kim was like that. She's here no matter what," says Rochelle Gaddis, Bay St. Louis.
Rochelle Gaddis lost her sister Kim and nephew Stephano in their family home after Katrina leveled it. But thanks to former super model and talk show host Tyra Banks and Planetta Custom Homes, Rochelle Gaddis, who lost everything in the storm, now has a place to call home.
"I knew I could not bring my sister and nephew back, but I could put a home back on this land so we could have a place to gather together, reminisce on the old times and make new ones," says Gaddis.
The contractors for Gaddis' home, Vic Plannetta Sr. and Jr., say the 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom modular home was finished in just two weeks. Lower My Bills.com also pitched in to pay for many of the expenses on Gaddis' home.
"This is a life changing donation that's happened here and I'm just glad I could be a part of it," says Vic Planetta Jr., Planetta Custom Homes.
"This is the place where everybody came. This was called the yellow house on the hill. This is what she use to do... she had gatherings. The people gathered are the same, people meet here and gather here for so much love here. It was always about my sister," says Gaddis.
Kim and Stephano's ashes are buried in the back yard. Although no one could reach out and hug them, Rochelle says their presence was there amongst the love and support once again gathered at 207 Easy Street.
"She's looking down saying it took a long time coming but I knew it was going to happen," says Gaddis.
Now that Gaddis has the keys to her new home, she can move in as early as this week.