Christmas is right around corner, but Moss Point resident Gene Cherry already has the perfect present - a brand new home.
"I appreciate this home more than the value of myself," Cherry said.
Now Cherry enjoys a cup of coffee sitting in his new bedroom. Outside his window sits an 8x10 shed where Cherry lived after Katrina destroyed his home.
Cherry says he received a FEMA trailer, but he moved out because it was making him sick.
"It wasn't easy for me to live in, but I had to do what needed to be done."
Cherry's need for a roof over his head encouraged his sister to call Rebuild Jackson County Long Term Recovery Group. The group, with the help of volunteers, built him a spacious house.
On Tuesday, the two bedroom, one bath home was blessed.
"We started this back in March, and we had to insure he was actually needy. We have a lot of partners from Rebuild to help come up with the funding. It is like putting a puzzle together," case manager Carla Poole said.
Poole admits completing this home building puzzle wasn't always easy.
"He was trying to build a cinder block house, so we had to clean off a lot of those blocks, level it out, and start from scratch."
And thanks to Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Ocean Springs, Gene Cherry now has a house full of furniture, and a bed he really likes this holiday season.
"You can stay on this side, and it does not sink in the middle," Cherry said.
Mr. Cherry's house is the first house that Rebuild Jackson County has built in Moss Point. Friday, the organization will hand over a pair of new home keys to an elderly Escatawpa woman.