New Home Dedicated in New Orleans East

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Sierra Duplessis grasped the key, eagerly awaiting the chance to decorate the blank walls of her new home. See more of the dedication activities here.

NOAHH dedicated the new home of Duplessis, 23, in New Orleans East on Thursday. Her son, 7-month-old son Ramon Bickham III, became the star of the show, looking wide-eyed at the people celebrating the special occasion.

The home dedication is the culmination of months of hard work for the partner families, who have put in 350 hours of “sweat equity” in lieu of a down payment on the home. NOAHH staff and volunteers, lead by Family Services Director Anna Danese, presented Brown with the key as well as ceremonial gifts of wine, bread, tools, flowers, and a Bible. The volunteers had come all the way from Michigan as part of a church group to volunteer, and they had worked at various sites all week.

Duplessis joins over 60 NOAHH families in New Orleans East, including one just across the street. She also said she will be the new host in her family for alternate Sunday night dinners. Her family is excited to be guests at the 3-bedroom home.

“I grew up in this area,” Duplessis said. “I wanted my home on the Habitat block.”

At the dedication, her mother arrived just in time to take a family photo in what would soon be Ramon’s new room. As the flash went off, Duplessis’s mother said, “to new beginnings.”

“I never would’ve thought I would be here right now, owning my own home,” Duplessis said. “But here I am, and standing strong.”

The home is made possible through the Fund for Humanity, a fund created by the mortgages on other NOAHH homes as part of the Habitat for Humanity program.