Katrina evacuees get homes for Christmas - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Katrina evacuees get homes for Christmas

December 17, 2005

Albany- Eight years ago Faye Starnes moved to Pascagula, Mississippi. This fall, Hurricane Katrine destroyed nearly everything she owned. She evacuated, eventually to Albany and spent her birthday and Thanksgiving in a hotel, now she'll be home for Christmas.

"I was going off screaming, I mean totally because I really thought I had won, but this is a joke," said Faye Starnes.

Faye Starnes was fooled by the fake lottery ticket her daughter sent, but her new home, that's no joke. Faye's apartment in Pascagula, Mississippi was destroyed when Katrina blew through, but now she's got a new home in time from Christmas.

"This is beautiful, this is a dream come true," said Starnes. With some help from the American Red Cross, Faye spent three and a half months at the Suburban Lodge.

"We made it our home, but it was getting a little old," said Starnes.

The four room hotel room was home, until last Friday.

"Last Friday when I got my home, I came in here and I just sat and I cried and cried, it's beautiful, it really is, God has blessed me very much," said Faye.

Katrina took almost everything. She was able to save just a freezer and some glasses, the biggest loss her pictures.

"We have some good ones and there's a lot of bad ones, but thank God I have what I have, and my memory, memories are the most important anyway," said Faye.

Through FEMA the Albany Housing Authority was given $153,000 to lease homes for evacuees and furnish them along with providing evacuees with three months rent and utilities.

"She came one day and the furniture was delivered and she said, I'll be back later and she did about 8:30, 9:00 p.m. she said she had to go shopping and she went shopping for us and brought us bed stuff, towels," said Starnes.

With help from her family Faye has been able to put together her home and hopes that 2006 will be a much better year.

"This is home and we're still looking for work, like I said, this time of the year to get jobs, but I know there's something good for me," said Starnes.

Faye wanted to thank, Theresa and the Albany Housing Authority, The Suburban Lodge, The American Red Cross and everyone else who has helped her to make the transition. Faye hopes that she can one day give back for all that's been given to her.

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