Katrina Survivor Gets Keys To Her Tyler Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Katrina Survivor Gets Keys To Her Tyler Home

During desperate times, thousands of hurricane evacuees fled to East Texas for shelter. Many evacuees were uncertain about what the future would hold. One Katrina survivor who's made Tyler her home got the keys to her new house on Tuesday.

Shante Rouege evacuated from New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina hit. Rouege says, "It was just horrible..basically one minute you are okay and then the next minute you don't know where to go or what to do." She says after the hotel rates in Houston, and the flood waters in New Orleans began to rise...she decided to find somewhere more permanent. "My aunt when she evacuated she went straight to Tyler, Texas and she called saying that the people out here are basically really taking care of us and the rates were half price," says Shante.

Once reality set in, Shante decided not to return to New Orleans. She decided to contact the Tyler Neighborhood Services to see if they could help. Shante filled out an application and was later approved for one of Tyler's city-built homes.

Mayor Joey Seeber says, "This is a program which we take foreclosed lots and build houses on them. People are able to buy those houses with government assistance that they would be spending on rent money."

Shante and her two children are able to start their lives over. Today, the Rouege family received the keys to their new home. The Rouege's say they're thankful to the City of Tyler and the residents who welcomed them with open arms during the most difficult days of their lives.

"They made me feel like home when I got here, I just want to say thank you to everybody," says Shante.

The City of Tyler's affordable home ownership program is new. The Rouege's home is only the second house that has been built. If you are interested in the program or want to know if you qualify, call the City of Tyler Neighborhood Services at 903-531-1303.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com


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