Habitat for Humanity Leaves Lasting Impression on Katrina Victims

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed homes and displaced families. 10 years later, it’s Habitat for Humanity that those same families credit for giving them a new place to call their own.
When Katrina hit the coast, Sue and Larry Kostmayer had to leave their home of 20 years and swim out. Also in town, their elderly blind uncle and an aunt terrified of water. They escaped with only their lives.
“In one moment, you don’t have but the clothes you have on. You have nothing and it’s just hard to describe how you feel at that moment, but just so glad to be alive that is was just so hard to weigh, weigh the two,” said Sue Kostmayer.
The Kostmayer’s home, a house that had been in her husband’s family for more than 150 years, was completely destroyed. They eventually moved into a mobile home in Ocean Springs. Tragedy struck again in 2008, when Larry was in a horrific car accident. He had to re-learn to walk and talk but the mental trauma may have been the worst part. “He had to re-live it all again because he thought the house was still here. So as he started healing, months in the hospital, months is rehab and coming back, he had no idea why we were in a mobile home in Ocean Springs and not in his home,” said Sue Kostmayer.
Sue was forced to quit her job so she could take care of her husband. That’s when a friend suggested that she try to get some help through Habitat for Humanity. “Once, I was like ‘Oh my God’, do you think they would do that? Because it would be worth everything if I could bring him back home,” said Sue. “We just wanted to move in. And it was the most wonderful, wonderful feeling to be back home.”
This is just one story behind the hundreds of homes built since Katrina thanks to Habitat volunteers. These volunteers were all recognized today for making a difference. Even though they’ve re-build and rehabbed hundreds of homes, Habitat for Humanity realizes their work is not done.
If you’re interested in volunteering, you can visit their website at www.HFHMGC.org.

Categories: Local News, News

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