"Lifelong Volunteer" Finally Has A House To Call Home

The Smith family is beginning a very bright future thanks to Habitat for Humanity.

"This is the first home, I've ever had of my own. But this is 'home'," Bettie Smith said.

Smith has lived in a FEMA trailer since Katrina swept away her Biloxi apartment. She says she loved her trailer, but the three bedroom home that she and countless Habitat volunteers built is what Smith calls a miracle.

"From one blessing to another blessing and it seems like it has been that way since Katrina," Smith said.

Habitat for Humanity family services manager Erica Higgs says Smith has unselfishly given of herself for years, even though she needed so much.

"She's a lifelong committed volunteer. She has logged hundreds and hundreds of hours, just traveling around volunteering with the elderly and sick. She literally runs herself ragged," Higgs said.

In addition, Smith cares for her 38 year old disabled son and her six year old great granddaughter. Without Habitat's help, this family would have never been able to live under the same roof.

"I feel so unworthy of what God has done for me, because I feel blessed above all blessings," Smith said.

Though she's lost several houses in the past, Smith says this time, she and her family have finally come home.

"They gave me a new beginning and hope for my son, especially for my son," Smith said.

Habitat for Humanity says they're the second largest builder in Mississippi. The organization wants to remind South Mississippians that they vow to be building affordable homes here for the long haul.

By Keli Rabon