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Tammy's family is one of 12 families receiving a beautiful new home on Angel Lane. Before Katrina hit, Tammy lived in her childhood home with her husband, Larry, and their children, Thaddeus, Ashley and Rashad. Tammy was a substitute teacher, and Larry was a cable technician.

Recently, Tammy and her sister Elonda returned to New Orleans to say a final goodbye to the house that held a lifetime of memories. Before going in, they had to put on protective gear because there was dangerous mold everywhere. When they stepped inside, they were shocked by what they saw. Looters had been in the home—even their couch was missing. The walls were covered in grime and there were piles of trash everywhere.

As they walked through each room, Tammy found many sentimental objects—her daughter's violin, family pictures, a journal, her son's pillow—but not a single piece could be salvaged. The kitchen, once the heart of Tammy's home, was in ruins.

"Everything we had worked for the last nine years was just demolished," Tammy said. "We had just finished paying [off] every lick of furniture. Everything we worked for is gone."

For Tammy, the full impact of Katrina's destruction was still sinking in. "When I looked around, I saw visions of ... my family being trapped," she said. "It's just devastating to think my family could have been dead. It's hard to say goodbye, but I believe God has a better plan."
FROM: Oprah on Location: Operation Katrina Homes Move In Day Special!
Published on February 22, 2006


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