Hattiesburg woman gets a fresh new start

Updated: Jan. 19, 2018 at 9:33 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Throughout the year, several people were offered the opportunity to have their homes rebuilt after last year's tornado. Now, one year later, it's 89-year-old Pauline Stewart's turn for a fresh start.

Her son, Eugene Stewart, said the damages to her Hattiesburg home were very extensive, and he almost considered moving her in with him in Georgia.

"This is her home," Stewart said. "She's lived here in this city for almost 90 years. I don't think she would've done very well in another state."

Volunteers came together to dedicate Stewart's home to her through song and praise. At the end of the ceremony, she was handed the keys and paperwork for her home.

Executive Director of the Greater Pine Belt Community foundation said they've been able to raise over $700,000 to put towards rebuilding homes.

"As of right now, along with R3SM and the Mennonite Disaster Recovery Group, there's been about 15 new houses completely rebuilt and 30 others that have been repaired," Dixon said.

Stewart's son said that it's been a blessing for people to come together for someone they don't know.

"I'm so happy that my mom has a place that she can call home again," Stewart said. "It's been a year since she's been displaced."

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