Westlake woman moves into Habitat for Humanity home

WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - Kathy Oubre is all smiles, but she said that wasn't always normal for her life.

"I was living in a little FEMA trailer that barely worked," Oubre said. She said her living situation was unbearable.

"The electricity in the kitchen and bedroom didn't work," Oubre said. "I didn't have a refrigerator, hot water or a washer and dryer."

Oubre works for the City of Westlake but could not afford a new home.

"I would repair things and repair things and then it would just mess up again," she said. "I wasn't skilled to fix it and I had to do everything myself to save money. I couldn't fix all of the problems so I just gave up."

A co-worker began to notice Oubre's attitude and wanted to help.

"My friend Becky told me about Habitat for Humanity," Oubre explained. "She helped me fill out the application."

After meeting with Habitat for Humanity representatives, Oubre found out she was going to receive a new home.

Oubre, who had never heard of the organization, immediately signed up as a volunteer.

"She has been helping us every Friday and Saturday at our resale store," said Lenn Knapp, Habitat for Humanity Director of Calcasieu Area. "She is out here for 5 or 6 hours every Saturday."

"I wish I'd found out about Habitat a long time ago because it is such a rewarding organization," Oubre said.

She credits the people who are a part of the organization for her new attitude toward life.

"I have had depression problems, but when I started working for Habitat I quit having those problems," Oubre said. "I am so happy all of the time.

Oubre said volunteering was a way to leave her trailer and help others.

On Thursday, friends and family gathered  at her new home for a dedication ceremony. It was the first day Oubre was given keys to her new home, but certainly not the first time she visited the home.

"She has been out here working on the roof and helping clean up the year," Knapp said.

Thankful and excited, Oubre is ready to move into her new home.

"I'm not going to know how to act in here," she said. "This is a beautiful home with a washing machine dryer. I have never cooked in my own kitchen! I am going to be so happy. I already have my garden started in the back.

Habitat for Humanity did facilitate the construction of the home, but Oubre will make payments each month. She was given the home without interest which will lower her monthly payments down to a more affordable rate.

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