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Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- Habitat for Humanity teams are putting the finishing touches on a raised, three-bedroom, one-bath shotgun home in Hollygrove.

It marks the end of a long journey for Tyrone Batiste that began when he and his two sons evacuated to Memphis for Hurricane Katrina.

'Tyrone had quite a trip, and quite a travel to get back, and he struggled hard,' said Jim Pate of Habitat for Humanity. 'He came back and forth a lot, and was just so thrilled that he can finally get back to his roots, and be home.'

Habitat for Humanity has rebuilt 380 homes in New Orleans since Katrina, with the help of 106,000 volunteers who invested 2.5 million hours in rebuilding New Orleans.

Two Pentecostal church groups holding conventions in New Orleans provided key aid. Presiding Bishop Charles Ellis of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World showed his friends what he personally built.

'I worked on the back porch. I helped build the steps, the railings, and the spindles, and I didn't even know what spindles were,' he said. 'It's just a blessing to be able to put a roof over someone's head.'

Members of the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith International also had a part in restoring the home, and their bishop said it was an energizing experience.

'It just makes you feel good, and it makes us feel as if we're really carrying out our Christian belief, exercising our faith, and that is to extend a helping hand to those in need. That's what Jesus would have done,' said Bishop Lambert Gates of Pentecostal Churches/Apostolic Faith.

Hurricane recovery is becoming a long-term project for Habitat for Humanity. Right now they've got about 30 people on the waiting list. They get about eight to ten calls a month. So they need donations and volunteers, local volunteers especially, and enough donations to keep these projects going.

'It costs about $6 million to hit our target, which is to bring back a sustainable 30 to 40 families every year,' Pate said.

Large or small, Habitat for Humanity leaders say all donations make a difference.

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