A New Year, A New Home For A Gulfport Woman

Elizabeth Skinner was the first client American Red Cross Client Recovery Supervisor Genia Crane met when she came here to help Hurricane Katrina victims.

"When I walked through, her home had literally shifted from the foundation," Crane said.  "You could see this much daylight between her floor and her wall.

Skinner says that was a day that changed her life.

"It sure did because, you know, I was wondering. You don't know what you're going to do sometime. But I didn't give up," Skinner said.

Now, her long road home is almost at an end, as the last of what has been a steady stream of volunteers put the final touches on her new house. The home was made possible thanks to a long list of charitable individuals and organizations.

"The funders are American Red Cross Means to Recovery, Lutheran Disaster Social Services, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Salvation Army, West Minster Presbyterian Church," Crane said.

As the caregiver for two special needs relatives, Skinner says this will be a big improvement over the FEMA trailer they now live in. And it's even bigger than her old house.

"Yeah, and better too," Skinner said. "Yeah, it's bigger and better. I love it. I'm ready to get in it right now as far as that's concerned."

And Skinner says her new year will be better than ever, thanks to the generous people who invested so much into helping her family come home.

"I'm thankful, you know, for every one of them, for the things they did," says Skinner. "And I appreciate everything."