MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Sometimes the best Christmas gifts are the ones you can't fit under the tree. For one Mid-South woman it was a brand new house. A local nonprofit played the role of Santa.
"I feel like this is a second chance. A second chance for me," said Pamela McCoy.
For most people it's nice to be home for the holidays. For others it's a blessing just to have one. McCoy just moved into her Orange Mound home. Last year her deteriorating health forced her into early retirement and into a wheelchair.
"A number of factors changed financially, emotionally and number one physically," McCoy said.
Stuck in an apartment with mounting medical bills, she received a helping hand from Howard Eddings. He runs the Neighborhood Housing Opportunities. It buys vacant lots from the government, builds new homes from the ground up and rents them out to poor working families.
"We provide decent, safe, quality affordable housing to under-resourced families who live in underserved communities," Eddings said.
Pamela McCoy fit the bill. But when Eddings and his crew began building the house they worried no one would be interested. Little did they know someone was.
"I met Ms. Hope, Yvonne Hope, and she said you know we are in the process of building a handicapped accessible home in the Orange Mound community," McCoy said.
And the rest, as they say, was history.
"Dilapidated houses, abandoned structures and empty lots are what contribute to the blight in communities like Orange Mound, so serving people like Pam and her families and the number of other families in the community certainly wakes me up every morning," Eddings said.
NHO has moved families into nearly three hundred homes in Orange Mound, north Memphis and Frayser. This Christmas none may be more thankful than Pamela McCoy.
"It's nothing like being in your own place. This year I get to host the family," she said.
For more information about the Neighborhood Housing Opportunities program, visit http://www.mlfonline.org/homes.php