To make matters worse, her landlord lost his house during the hurricane. So, when he and his family moved into the rental house, Laura was forced to find somewhere else to live.
The next four years were spent living in a FEMA trailer, a MEMA cottage, on the floor of her mother’s house, and finally in a small bedroom in her son’s house. “I’ve never felt like this before,” she comments. “I’m a grown woman, I’ve got grown children, and here I am unable to provide for a place of my own!”
She worried so much about her situation that her doctor told her it was affecting her health.
That's when friends told her about Habitat for Humanity. Although she didn't meet Habitat's financial requirements at first, they worked with her to improve her circumstances, making her able to qualify. Habitat also helped her select the neighborhood and style of house she wanted.
What does owning a Habitat house mean to Laura Palode? Fighting back the tears, she says, “I’ve never had a chance to enjoy my seven grand-babies, because I didn’t have anywhere to put them. My FEMA trailer and MEMA cottage were so small, I was embarrassed. This house means family to me; a place where I can be Grandma. I can finally say ‘you all come over to my house.’ I have enough room, now.”