Melissa, a single mother of two, is thrilled to be receiving an Oprah's Katrina Home. Before the hurricane, life was good for her and her sons. Fourteen-year-old Earl and 6-year-old Torren were in two of New Orleans's best schools, and she was working with the Internal Revenue Service.
Melissa had owned her home for the past 10 years. She had just completed a major renovation only two months before the storm hit. Melissa and her sons fled to Texas right before the hurricane devastated their neighborhood. She couldn't believe her eyes when she saw TV reports a few days later. "I was looking at the news, and the lady was calling in because her family was trapped on the roof," Melissa said. "And when she gave the name of the streets, I realized that that street was one street from my house. When they said the levees broke and the water was coming, I knew that my area was destroyed."