The homeowners of our 200th home rebuilt are Shelton and Mary Roberts and her parents, Mary and Nathaniel Bibbins. They recently moved back to New Orleans from Atlanta, after having lived there for several years due to Hurricane Katrina. Mrs. Roberts worked as a claims adjuster for hospitals before the storm and again in Atlanta.

The Roberts were forced to pay off their mortgage so their rebuilding money was diminished. Also, while living in Atlanta, they gave their money to a contractor in New Orleans who gave them regular reports on the progress of their home. This contractor prayed with them before and during construction and seemed very nice.

Shelton & Mary Roberts celebrate their return to New Orleans East

At the point that their contractor told them their home was 85% complete, their neighbor went over to look at the progress and was shocked! Hardly any work had been done. They realized then that they needed to come back to New Orleans to get their house finished.

Various volunteer groups have led the charge to complete the house under the watchful eye of Molly Sherry, a long-term volunteer originally from Rhode Island. “Working on this house and being able to help the Roberts and Bibbins families return home has been just unbelievable,” Molly said. “It’s an experience that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life.”

Project manager Aaron Cook oversaw the rebuild. “Just to see the faces of these homeowners as they come back home is something I’ll never forget. It’s a privilege to be part of this program and help our elderly and disabled homeowners return to their neighborhoods.”

Kevin Fitzpatrick, director of Operation Helping Hands, says that rebuilding this home is mutually beneficial for both the family and the volunteers. “The family receives hope and their home back, while the volunteers receive hope and meaningful purpose in life,” Kevin said.

The goal of both families has been for all of them to live together in the house. That is now a reality! Welcome home to the Roberts & Bibbins families!

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