Biloxi woman's home rebuilt from building blitz

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hilda Nix will once again call 820 Bradford Street in Biloxi, home.

"When I walked in here, I couldn't believe it.  I kept looking around.  It was amazing.  It's nice.  I love it," says Hilda Nix.

The journey back home has been a long and arduous one for Nix. The life-long Biloxi native was temporarily living in Florida. Upon returning to Biloxi, she was hospitalized for eight months.  For nearly three years, her home sat in disrepair, but thanks to nearly 70 volunteers, that need has now been fulfilled.

"I had tears in my eyes. That's the only way I could describe it," says Elaine Sonderegger, an Orange, Connecticut, volunteer.

"To have the opportunity to put one more person, one more family back into their own home, it's a remarkable feeling," says Jeanne Tayloe, a volunteer from Boone, North Carolina. "It was the opportunity of a lifetime to have been part of this large effort in the past week."

For these volunteers it wasn't just about rebuilding a home, it was about rebuilding a community.

"The last two weeks, neighbors have stopped by and thanked us. They are so excited about Ms. Hilda Nix coming home," says Craig Steenkamp of Biloxi Bay Mission.

And now that she and her companion of many years are moving back home, there's much work to be done.

"We got to put up curtains, venetians blinds, got to get furniture, so it's gonna be nice," says Nix.

"We appreciate everybody. We send our love out, and I mean 100%," says Odray John Grandberry of Biloxi.

Ms. Nix also received a prayer shawl as a gift from the volunteers. She's ready to move into her new home in the coming week.