Bryan Family Prepares for Long Overdue Habitat

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For nearly two decades, Habitat for Humanity has been building homes and improving lives in the Twin Cities.

The dream of an affordable home will become a reality for one Bryan family that has been living in unimaginable conditions. It's Habitat's offer and hard work that will make the Davis' dream a reality.

For decades, a Bryan house has been a home for the Davis family, but while four walls still stand, so much else has fallen.

"When I first moved in, it was old," said Oralee Davis, the matriarch of the family. "It was an old house already. I knew it was going away."

A tour of the house proves it has gone away.

"We have to catch water in a bowl just to wash the dishes, and the water stays hot," Oralee's daughter, Latreace, said. "We don't get cold water. Everything's just falling apart."

Latreace and her kids live with Oralee, and there's barely room to move.

"It's had it's last legs," Latreace said of the house, "so we're ready to move out."

Oralee has nine kids, 17 grandkids and 16 great-grandkids, all who flock to her battered home in love and faith, something that's carried them through tough times inside rough walls. It was one of those grandchildren that first brought up Habitat for Humanity.

"He said, 'Grandma, you need to go and get yourself a home,' and that's when I went," Oralee explained.

"She decided she wanted to go sign up for it," Latreace said of her mom's decision a couple years ago, "so I said, 'OK, you go sign up for it, and maybe we can get a new home and get up out of this one.'"

Habitat officials call what the Davis' have the worst living conditions they've seen since they began work. Oralee and family got the thumbs-up for the new home they'd be praying for for years.

But this was no gift; it was something they'd have to work for. Besides regular classes that Latreace and Oralee attended, there's sweat equity hours to work.

That's where the kids stepped in.

The younger generation of the Davis clan has been out at work site after work site, weekend after weekend, all to achieve a better life for themselves while helping others.

"When I got that letter that I was approved, they went on out there, willing to do it for me, and I just thank the Lord," Oralee said.

"Everything will be better for me and my kids, and having a lot of people over there to visit, have fun," Latreace added. "I can invite my friends now."

This street where the Davis kids have sweat is also where they'll soon live, not having to sweat another year on a soft foundation, and with the knowledge that this family has done what's needed to make this a reality.

"It means a whole lot," Oralee said. "It means greatness. Thank the Lord and the Habitat people that enabled me to get one."

The Davis family is scheduled to see the walls start going up on their new home in next couple of weeks.

Your chance to make a difference in the lives of families in need is coming up Thursday. News Three is joining forces with Habitat and Bryan Broadcasting to raise money for the Builders Blitz. We'll be at Post Oak Mall starting at 5:30 a.m., and we'll need your help and your donations. Click the link below for more information on how you can help.