Habitat for Humanity’s 50th home in Ouachita Parish destroyed by Hurricane Laura


MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD) — As Hurricane Laura left a path of destruction in Northeast Louisiana, it also left one family and an organization disappointed. Habitat for Humanity finished building their 50th home in Ouachita Parish and planned to have the homeowner move in on Saturday. However, due to severe damage to the home from Hurricane Laura, that move-in date has been postponed.

Just days before the Simmons family planned to move into their new home, Hurricane Laura disrupted those plans. A large red oak tree fell directly on this home, crushing it.

“The kitchen, dining area, the laundry area is completely destroyed. The front porch has structural damage, Its wiped out,” said Forrest Fife, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Ouachita.

Habitat for Humanity helps families in need of decent and affordable housing. This is the 50th one they’ve built in Ouachita Parish. How it works, the homeowner helps build their own home along with volunteers. Keya Simmons says she put in close to 200 hours on her home, just to see it ruined right before moving in.

“So it was definitely heartbreaking. My kids and I were ready to move, we were ready to have a house to call our own,” said Keya Simmons, the homeowner.

While the storm was out of their hands, Habitat for Humanity officials say they are staying positive and thankful no one was hurt or even killed in this home.

“Its just material things, but when you pour 6 months of yourself, volunteers, and contractors into a project to just see it wiped away in an instant, it shocks the system,” said Fife.

Officials say they hope to have the house rebuilt in 6 weeks. When they get to move, Simmons says the excitement will be uncontrollable.

“I believe my kids will be more excited than I am to have their own room. It’s their favorite color. We have a pink room and a blue room,” said Simmons.

If you would like to donate directly to the rebuilding process of this home, you can click here.

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