PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

March 28, 2013

Woman raising sisters, daughter gets home rebuilt 5 years after hurricane

PORT ARTHUR — Patience has finally paid off for Thressal Prevost.

Five years after the destruction of her mother’s home in Hurricane Rita, Prevost, her daughter and her two sisters have a new home in which to live thanks to a program through the City of Port Arthur and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department.

This was not the first house the city helped to rebuild, but the project was close to the mayor’s heart.

“I’ve known this lady since she was a little girl,” Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince said. “If anybody deserves to have something good happen to them, she is certainly one of those people.”

Prevost’s mother, also named Thressal Prevost, died before she could see the project reach completion – a project she initiated. She submitted the application that resulted in the construction of the house by NVT Construction.

“We would have loved for her to be a part of this, but she is the reason for all of this,” Prevost, 26, said. “She started this, and we’re just here reaping the benefits.”

Prevost’s two special-needs sisters, Latasha Bell, 21, and Mallorie Bell, 17, remained in her care after their mother died. Meanwhile, she has also been raising her six-year-old daughter, Thressal Joubert. But Prevost did not see it as a burden to bear.

“If I can do anything for her by taking care of her children, then I’ll take on that responsibility. It’s not too heavy for me to carry,” she said. “Obviously if God has strengthened me this much, he probably saw more in me than I see in myself.”

Prevost, her sisters and her daughter were living in the Brittany Place Apartments, but once they got a peek at the house Wednesday they were more than ready to move in their belongings.

“It’s not the same,” Latasha Bell said. “You have your own space, your own time to yourself in your house.”

Bell’s aunt agreed. “A house is completely different,” Sophie Graham said. “You have more peace of mind in a house.”

City employees designed the 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house to accommodate the family’s needs, said Derrick Holland, a draftsman with the city. It is completely wheelchair-accessible and has adaptions like lower light switches and knobs that push to make living a little bit easier on the family.

“This process was long and tedious, but it was so worth the wait,” Prevost said. “Patience is a virtue.”

email: bcrum@panews.com

twitter: @broocrum

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