New Habitat Homes Dedicated in Hattiesburg

Several families whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina are getting a new chance at owning a house, thanks to the Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity and dozens of volunteers.

Five homes built by the Hub City Chapter of Habitat for Humanity were dedicated at a ceremony this afternoon.

Three of the homes are on McCall Street and two others are on Lurlyne Street.

The Habitat for Humanity organization partners with low-income families to build quality homes.

Qualified families help with the construction and agree to accept 20-year, no-interest mortgages.

"It is a true partnership," said Ken Wooden, Chief Executive Officer with the Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity.

"We don't build these houses for our partners, we don't give these houses to our partners, but, it is a partnership, so we are looking for families who would like to own their own home and are looking to partner with us," Wooden said.

"Well, I prayed for a house and I got it and I thank The Lord above that they got me a house and all the help I put into it to get it up," said Carmen Portier, one of the new homeowners.

Two of the homes were built by volunteers from the 87th Training Support Division at Camp Shelby and the Youth Challenge Program.

Troops from the 87th also presented each new homeowner with an American flag during the ceremony.