"We're walking into the living room," said Crockey Peterson, as he entered a 1,200 square foot house in Biloxi.
Crockey Peterson proudly showed off the house he's building on Bonner Drive. He values the house at about $90,000. He's spending his own money and using some donate materials.
"They just got the insulation up today," Peterson said.
When the house is finished though, Peterson has no plans to move-in. Instead, he wants to give it away.
"You want to help someone that really needs it, and doesn't think that they'll be able to be back in a home someday," Peterson said.
Peterson is from Milbourne Beach, Florida. He owns a lumber and hardware business in Missouri. He'd been to Biloxi before, but when he visited the city five months after Katrina, he was stunned.
"I just couldn't believe it. The devastation was just unreal. I just felt for the people here, so I decided to build a house," Peterson said.
Building the house has not been so easy for Peterson. He had wanted to start the project immediately after Katrina. But for the past two years, he's been dealing with all sorts of obstacles, from finding the land and working out the elevation requirements, to getting the permit. Peterson says he's a man of his word, and he's determined to see this project through.
"I just felt I wanted to do it, and I would see where it goes," Peterson said. "I really wanted to do it with someone with children. Maybe that person that had some small children would grow up, they would learn to be a giver."
Peterson will sort through the applications to find a worthy family. He hopes to have the three-bedroom house ready by Christmas.
"I'll just be glad when it's completed, and some family will be happy," Peterson said. "That will make me happy."
If you are interested in the house, you can pick-up an application at Biloxi City Hall, and send the form to the following address:
1200 E. Main St.
Park Hills, MO 63601
You must meet certain criteria in order to be considered. For instance, the applicant must be willing to disclose all financial and real estate information, and had received little or no financial help from FEMA or their insurance company.