Habitat Success Stories

Imes Family

I am Eric Imes and my wife’s name is Gayle Imes. I lived in the 3rd Ward as a child and then the 6th Ward. I attended McDonogh 30 Elementary school and A.J. Bell High School. I then attended Gary Job Corps in San Marcos, Texas. I graduated in 1972 with a welding training and GED. I started working at Avondale Shipyards as a tacker and ship fitter in 1978 and other various shipyards around the city, for about 30 years. I was very tired of working in this trade so I started working civil construction from laborer to medium equipment operator and leader man jobs in some refineries in the area, until 2005, when I was forced to stop working from an eye incident, glaucoma, and other illnesses that seem to follow.

I married my wife, Gayle in 2003, a church girl, who is a Lower Nine Ward native. I was on the wild side, drinking. She attended Lawless Elementary school and George Washington Carver and graduated in 1970. Gayle worked several jobs: Dental assistant, child care worker, and a kitchen worker for school until – 2010-2011. She was always helping others in the family, who needed attention. We separated for a while, during the great escape , Hurricane Katrina, something happened and we got together in Texas and moved into an apartment complex. We decided to get back to NOLA. Gayle and I and the children: Michael (29), Valerie (42), Joshua (12) and Aaron (2).

God lead us to NOAHH after paying all my creditors to get my credit straight. We applied again and God showed us . I am disabled in some ways. We, as a team, got together for this house and appreciate the chance to work on it and other homes. We also met and talked to good people with good hearts, from all over. This was a beautiful struggle, mentally, physically, financially, and spiritually. My wife and I can now think about retiring like second class citizens, knowing that we can leave something for the kids. We like to thank everybody who helped us along the way and May God Bless your staff, site supervisors, volunteers, contractors. Thank God for Habitat for Humanity!

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