Remodeling Ms. Luella’s Place

Terry SwensonCharity Projects, Featured, Remodelers

GHBA member, Sherry Pruitt with WhoDid It Designs was one of several generous parties that have been involved in a remodel project in the Fifth Ward. GHBA asked Sherry to share the circumstances that inspired her to become a part of this remodel.

“A friend of a friend, Belinda O. saw a story on Channel 2 News during the George Floyd protests about a man, (Brian) who was cleaning up graffiti in the Fifth Ward. Belinda tracked this gentleman down and asked if there was anything they could do for him. He said, ‘No, but you could help my neighbor?’” From there, Belinda met with Brian and his neighbor, Ms. Luella for the first time in June of 2020. That was the beginning of the construction journey to complete her remodel, as dozens stepped up to donate what they could.

Fast forward to October 2020, “The first day that I met Ms. Luella,” said Sherry, “we sat on the front porch and talked about everything that was happening to her. She was a Fifth Ward resident who was in desperate need of completing construction on her and her husband’s home that had stalled three months after construction began. Around that time, the contractor left, taking their loan money. Shortly afterward, Ms. Luella’s husband passed away and she continued living in a tiny efficiency behind the home they had been in since 2015.

“I asked her how she had survived not knowing how the house would ever get finished. ‘I knew that God would bring it in His own time,’ she told me.


“Several months later, with the remodel in full swing, we were continuing the conversation about how God just kept providing for the project. Ms. Luella said to me: ‘You know that God picked each one of you to help and He brought you together in His time.’ I have never felt so humbled and honored at the same time,” Sherry said.

GHBA member, Moe Toofan with TBR Construction jumped in to offer services and materials for the project on an ad hoc basis. Moe, helped hang drywall and donated garage doors and materials from one of his projects. “Another major blessing was when non-profit organization PETRA joined us,” said Sherry, “They have donated time, materials, labor and funds for everything else. I could not have gotten this far with this wonderful project without these great partners.”

Other generous companies involved include, ARS who donated the mechanical, electrical and plumbing rough-ins; AC/Heating Systems; Marek Brothers who donated all the sheetrock; Children of Greatwood who collected Nickels for Bricks; Acme Brick who donated all the brick and stone; Beam Roofing; Centerpoint Energy; and Lazo Construction. Westside Inspections & Engineering and Southland Electric have helped with fixtures, the meter and pole. Select Plumbing worked on getting water and gas to the meters. City of Houston officials have been kind in helping sort through the mess the original contractor left.

Whodid It Designs and Remodeling provided kitchen cabinets. “The cabinets are different because they have been donations sourced from different vendors,” explained Sherry. “Some of my clients have even donated countertops as they were remodeling their homes.” Sherry asked Ms. Luella if she wanted her to try and make all the cabinets look similar. ‘No,’ she said, ‘they represent the many people who God has brought into this project.’

The Completion Team is planning a yard sale and fundraiser to put money back into PETRA for their next project, and a party when Ms. Luella moves in, where everyone who helped is invited.

About the Author

Terry Swenson


A writer and a photographer, Terry Swenson is GHBA's director of public relations.