Less than a week after she learned that the Department of Housing and Urban Development was giving her home the green light to be rehabbed, 101-year-old Texana Hollis was wheeled past new cabinets, fresh drywall and a group of people working to help her Wednesday on Detroit’s west side.
“Words can’t express how I feel,” Hollis said in between sobs after Free Press columnist Mitch Albom pushed her wheelchair up a new ramp and through her home. “I just thank each and every one of you that had a hand in getting my house back.”
Albom’s charity, S.A.Y. Detroit, is paying for the rehab.
Less than a week ago, a HUD spokesman said the house was approved for rehabilitation, after coming to terms with Albom and S.A.Y. Detroit. Albom bought the home from HUD for $100. S.A.Y. Detroit will spend about $20,000 on supplies and construction equipment rental.
“I feel good doing it,” said Harold Marshall, 56, of Detroit, who was released from prison in November after serving three years for home invasion and works with Tamer Builders. “My crime, I was taking people’s stuff. Now, I’m helping people. I think I might be feeling as happy as she is.”
Terrance Christian, 45, of Detroit was released from jail Jan. 24 after serving more than a year for dealing heroin as a quick way to make money. He said the high he felt Wednesday was better than any drug.
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