Miss Lucy's Happy Ending

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Miss Lucy Ann Anderson has spent the last 40 years taking care of other people's homes. Working 12-hour days, holding two or more jobs at a time, she was never able to save enough to enable her to buy a safe and structurally sound place to live.

[Photo 1: Miss Lucy's old home]
Miss Lucy's old home had no electricity, gas or water, and the roof leaked

Since 1971, Miss Lucy has lived over a garage in the Queensborough neighborhood of Shreveport. Working long hours at homes in affluent neighborhoods, Miss Lucy returned each night to a home with no electricity, gas or water, and with a roof that leaked. She prayed for the day when her living conditions might improve. Imagine her delight when Shreveport Mayor Keith Hightower presented her the keys to her new home during a National Homeownership Month celebration.

[Photo 2: Miss Lucy’s new home]
Miss Lucy's new home was made possible by HUD, the City of Shreveport and Community Support Programs

Miss Lucy's new home was made possible through a strong partnership between HUD, the City of Shreveport, and Community Support Programs. HUD HOME funds were used to fund the construction of Miss Lucy's new home.

"The City of Shreveport receives about $1.5 million each year in HOME money, which we use to create affordable housing," said Bonnie Moore, Interim Director of Community Development. "We use these funds to respond to the most severe cases first; Miss Lucy's was severe."

[Photo 3: Ribbon cutting ceremony of Miss Lucy's new home]
Members of the partnership watch as Miss Lucy's snips the ribbon opening the door to her new life

Enter Miss Lucy's angels. Community Support Programs, a local non-profit, used their expertise in affordable housing development to build the home. As the project was progressing and word got out, CSP CEO Peggy Shemwell was touched by the outpouring of support for Miss Lucy. "Almost anyone we've approached has been willing to help," said Shemwell. "It's been just a wonderful coming together."

Miss Lucy's happy ending has been long in coming, but her prayers have been answered and she now has a little piece of heaven right here on earth. After long hours at work, she now comes home to a 915 square foot, two bedroom one bath brick house - with electricity, water, central air and heat. It was built directly in front of the garage where she has resided for more than 30 years. "It's a taste of heaven for me," said Miss Lucy.

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