Katrina Families Thank Habitat for Humanity Volunteers

Dozens of former Louisiana families who came to Houston after Hurricane Katrina are now Houston homeowners, thanks to Oprah Winfrey and a lot of Houston Habitat for Humanity volunteers. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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For openers they don't call themselves evacuees anymore. They're new Houstonians. 65 families from Louisiana now live in homes built especially for them with help from Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network. Houston Habitat spokesman Dave Daniels says Winfrey was looking for ways to help evacuees and:

"We had land that just happened to be coming up in development."

So Winfrey donated the money, and thousands of Habitat volunteers built the homes on Houston's south side.

"Oprah Winfrey really did pay Houston quite a compliment by saying that she was so impressed by what Mayor White had done, and the whole community and the whole city in embracing this population."

Tomorrow, those 65 new Houston families and Houston Habitat will throw a street party and picnic in their new neighborhood to say "thank you" to the volunteers and corporate sponsors who made their new homes possible.

"We've got lots of things planned, we're gonna have entertainment as well, we've got food, and we have some dignitaries that'll be coming and sharing their thoughts, but it's really a collection and embracing of hearts with the community."

Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.

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