1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Louisiana family receives keys to new home

TODAY
updated 10/5/2005 10:09:48 AM ET 2005-10-05T14:09:48

Last week, thousands of volunteers worked tirelessly around the clock on Rockefeller Plaza building homes for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It's all come down to this moment, when the fruits of their labor finally pay off. In Slidell, La., the first house has reached its final destination for a very special family.

The story of Paulette Lindsey is one of quiet strength and determination — a symbol of this community, united while helping each other rebuild for the future.

Last year, she applied for a home from Habitat for Humanity, but Hurricane Katrina had made her need all the more urgent. Amid the modest and battered trailer called home for 20 years are memories of a life that's seen hardship and joy.

"The worst is over," she says. "You know we been spared. We're still living."

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Play nice: 4 ways to teach kindness and raise kids who aren't jerks

      Every parent has probably said, “play nicely” or “be kind to your sister.” And most of us agree that we want to raise cari...

    2. Natalie and Jenna: We can be the next Thelma and Louise — 'minus the ending'
    3. Renee Zellweger selling Connecticut country home
    4. 5 things I wish my boss knew about fatherhood
    5. Tying the knot

Paulette's older sister, Marion, opened her small apartment to them after Katrina. Paulette, a single mother, and her children, Tiron and Tonishia, had a place to temporarily call home, though they sleep on the floor.

"We promised our mama before she died that we were going to look after each other," says Marion.

The school where Paulette worked as a custodian was closed because of hurricane damage. But another opened its doors, so she can still provide for her young children, who are struggling to understand what they've seen in the last month.

"They didn't really know what would happen, so that safety, that comfort zone wasn't there," says Paulette. "Every parent wants to do the best and give their children the best that they can give. and it made me feel like I failed them not being able to do it."

Still, Paulette Lindsey is a woman with great hope for a better future.

"I feel that I'm just a simple person that has been shown more love than I could ever have imagined," says Paulette. "I just feel blessed and honored to know that there is still love in this world."

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

    Play nice: 4 ways to teach kindness and raise kids who aren't jerks

    7/24/2014 7:05:14 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T19:05:14
  1. Watch the full ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trailer: What we couldn’t show on TV

    “Fifty Shades of Grey” fans, you’ve come to the right place. 

    7/24/2014 12:30:07 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T12:30:07
  2. video ‘Fifty Shades’ stars give first look at steamy film

    video Stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson offer TODAY viewers a sneak peek at the highly anticipated film. When Savannah Guthrie told Dornan that viewers had asked if he'd do the interview shirtless, he said, “I would have considered it.” 

    7/24/2014 5:22:44 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T17:22:44
  3. Not a date movie: Why ‘Fifty Shades’ a girls’ night hit

    Even though the film is opening on Valentine's Day — the biggest date night of the year — women are likely to turn the movie into a social event.

    7/24/2014 1:22:41 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T13:22:41
  4. Universal Pictures
  1. 5 things I wish my boss knew about fatherhood

    7/24/2014 6:28:13 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T18:28:13
  1. Air Algerie flight remains missing 

    After reports that the commercial jet that went missing on Thursday over western Africa had been found, French President Francois Hollande stated that “no trace of plane has been found yet." 

    7/24/2014 2:47:05 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T14:47:05