Habitat Subdivision Opening

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Habitat for Humanity handed over house keys to 22 new homeowners Friday. The project has been underway for more than a year.

After 16 months of being without a home, 20 Hurricane Katrina evacuees have a place to call their own. Habitat for Humanity held a dedication ceremony Friday to turn over the keys to the families just in time for Christmas.

"This is the greatest gift to family, especially Katrina evacuees, because they've been displaced and this can give them a sense of home," said Elizabeth Tiller, Exec. Dir. of Habitat for Humanity.

Recipients of the new homes were grateful and say this is a new beginning for themselves and their families.

"It means the world to me. I'm not stranded anymore and I have a home and I don't have to keep moving," said Darlene Pressley.

After the ceremony, families hurried to the new Diamond Grove subdivision to see their new homes. The homes are fully furnished courtesy of Oprah's Angel Network. The new residents were overwhelmed at what they found.

"I'm just a little emotional today, but it's just a culmination of 16 months. But I think I speak for everyone in the subdivision when I say we truly feel like was home now," said Michelle Michel

Habitat for Humanity homes make up the first subdivision of its kind in the Wiregrass. Habitat built 26 homes in this area this year and has plans to continue to building for many years to come.

Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity is working to bring 95 more homes to this area. The homes will house both Hurricane Katrina evacuees as well as other families in need.