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Day Five Of 'Welcome Home'

On the fifth and final day of CBS This Morning's weeklong series Welcome Home, Michelle Hayes and her family walked through their new house.

"It's amazing that you can do a home in five days," Michelle Hayes told CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen.

With the help of Habitat for Humanity, homebuilding expert and CBS This Morning Consultant Bob Vila, hundreds of volunteers, and sponsors, Hayes and her four daughters have built a home in a week.

On Nov. 20, Jim Killoran, the director of the Yonkers, N.Y., affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, gave Hayes the keys to her home, and unveiled the home's address number for the new neighborhood - No. 1.

Hayes heard about Habitat from a flyer circulating in the Yonkers School Street Projects where she has lived until now. After intense background checks, and more than 500 hours of "sweat equity," she has seen the dream of owning her own home come true.

Bob Vila shows Hayes her kitchen. (CBS)

"They are a good organization," Hayes says. "They build affordable homes for people like myself who don't have the money. I would have waited 20, 30 years to have my own home. They are good people."

Working day and night, volunteers from Habitat and neighbors, as well as sponsors such as the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, APA - The Engineered Wood Association, and Premier Building Systems, all contributed toward creating the comfortable, and high-tech home.

"There is only one way to build a house in a week, and that's with more hard work than you can imagine," Bob Vila says.

What began as an empty lot, became a traditional-looking home, with cutting-edge technology such as structural insulated panels, solar-paneled shingles, and environmentally-friendly wood products.

One of the bedrooms. (CBS)
"The big intangible about the work is the devotion of the volunteers to the ideals of Habitat for Humanity, providing shelter for people who need it," Vila says. "It's realy an unbeatable combination -- hard work, good skills and an ideal that keeps you moving ahead."

For Hayes, all of her work has finally come to fruition.

"I put in hard hours along with my daughter and her friends," she says.

The family planned to officially move in during the week of Thanksgiving.

Written by Benita Green with graphic design by V.A. Burcop.
Photos by Mario de Carvalho.
Copyright 1998, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Sponsored in part by Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing.


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