WAVERLY, Tenn. (WSMV) – It was a day a group of flood survivors in Waverly had waited for nearly a year on Tuesday – when they got the keys to a new home.
Appalachia Service Project (ASP) has dedicated five new homes in Waverly to flood survivors who lost their homes in the August 2021 flood. This is part of the Christian ministry’s commitment to build at least 25 homes in the Humphrey County for low-income residents. They worked with dozens of organizations, businesses, churches and hundreds of volunteers to start rebuilding in the heat of summer.
“I feel like I’m finally back where I wanted to be, so that feels good,” said Gary Jackson, who received the keys to a new house on Pickett Street. “It’s better than I could have hoped for.”
Among the families celebrated at a home dedication on Tuesday are a family of veterans, a family who lost a spouse in a flood, and elderly/disabled individuals and couples whose long-standing homes were destroyed.
“It looks like a dollhouse, and I’m thrilled with it,” Shelia Stewart said. “It makes you feel like you’re meant to be here because there’s a reason.”
Stewart says she thinks about last year’s flood every day. Like so many of its neighbors, the trauma of that day will stay with them forever.
“I remember being scared to death. I thought it was going to be our last day on this Earth,” Stewart said. “I don’t know if there will ever be normalcy, you know, but I guess it’s a new normal,” Stewart said. During Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony, the ASP thanked its countless partners, staff and volunteers.
They also prayed for the five new owners.
According to the ASP, 130 volunteers have served with the ASP, and 180 volunteers are expected to help in Humphrey County in the coming months.
They say if there are enough resources, they might be able to build more than the 25 houses they have committed to.
To donate or volunteer, visit ASP website.
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