The Good Stuff: Building up hope

Remembering Emily Perdue, Katy Watkins, and Molly Reed

Emily Build helps give mother of 3 a hand up

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - If you have ever driven over the Benton Road Spur overpass in Bossier City — you can see a gathering of worn-out roof tops in the distance.

But upon closer inspection, you'll find new construction going up at the corner of Ward and Jean Streets.

It's actually the fourth new home to go up in that area of Bossier City in the last few years, homes constructed by the Fuller Center for Housing.

"Where's our bathroom going to be," asks Melanie Moss' daughter, as mom points to a yet to be developed area of concrete slab covered in two-by-fours.

Melanie Moss and her daughter talking about their new home under construction
Melanie Moss and her daughter talking about their new home under construction

“To be standing her, literally, with my hands on the wall is amazing,” Melanie said, the recipient of the latest Fuller Center for Housing home.

But the road she took to make it do this groundbreaking day was an extremely long and difficult one.

“I used drugs for a solid 20 years,” Melanie said.

“I lost so much. I gave away so much. I destroyed so much,” she continues.

Melanie revealed her journey also involved a stint behind bars, until she managed to deal with her addiction.

She now works at CADA, the drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility that she once sought out for help to rid drugs from her life.

"It keeps me on the edge of seeing what that life is like. So if any part of me thinks about going back, I'm seeing the devastation every single day."

The home ownership program with the Fuller Center for Housing helps families purchase homes by making the process more affordable.

Of the Fully Center’s nearly 60 homes built in the area, this is the fourth to be built in Bossier City, all four memorializing the lives of three teenage girls killed in a 2006 crash.

The home being constructed for Melanie is called the 'Emily Build' project, in honor of Emily Perdue.

"It's in her memory, something she would love to be a part of," Terry Perdue, Emily's mother, says with a growing smile on her face.

Emily was killed along with fellow Airline High School classmates and friends, Katy Watkins and Molly Reed.

Emily Perdue passed away in a 2006 SUV crash along with Katy Watkins and Molly Reed
Emily Perdue passed away in a 2006 SUV crash along with Katy Watkins and Molly Reed

The three other new Fuller Center homes built nearby are aptly named Katy Build and Molly Build.

For each construction, much of the money, supplies, and volunteer labor was donated by the churches the girls attended.

Asbury United Methodist Church and The Simple Church were sponsors of the first three homes. First Bossier was also one of the organizations working with the Fuller Center.

“These people in their pain have chosen to do this for us,” Melanie said.

And for the Perdues, they're excited to see their daughter still doing for others, just as she learned in church, even 13 years after her death.

"From our tragedy, I think there's good coming out of this," Emily's father Danny says.

“I have no doubt,” Terry said. "that when those three girls went to heaven, God said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servants’.

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