After tragedy, home feels like love

Redford Township — Friday was doubly sweet for Angela Jackson — it was her birthday and township officials, volunteers and Habitat for Humanity personnel raised the walls on what will soon be her new home.

“It’s just amazing. It’s a feeling I can’t explain,” said Jackson, 44, the mother of four daughters between the ages of 7 and 24.

“It makes me feel wonderful, appreciated and loved. It lets me know there’s love out there.”

The happy occasion follows sadness. Jackson was widowed when her husband Anthony was killed Oct. 5, 2009.

He had stopped to help a woman who had been beaten and was trying to flag down cars for help. The woman’s assailant rammed the back of Jackson’s car, which crashed. The attacker beat him to death with a tire iron.

Angela Jackson’s plight attracted the attention of Birmingham attorney Norman Yatooma. He started a foundation supporting kids who have lost a parent and has provided support to Jackson and her family and helped them connect with Habitat for Humanity.

“The home is the vital center of life for every family,” Yatooma said in a statement. “We appreciate the support of Habitat for Humanity, as our organization’s mission aligns with theirs to help the Jackson family build a new life in a new home.”

Yatooma wasn’t at the event Friday because he was in Texas attempting to depose the father of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Firefighters, friends and city and state officials did attend and helped raise the walls on Jackson’s new home.

“We talked about how do we engage people and how do we redevelop our community,” said Tracey Schultz Kobylarz, township supervisor. “We know we do it one person at a time.”

The 1,200 square-foot, three-bedroom, 1 1/2 -bathroom ranch will be dedicated Oct. 4 — a day before the anniversary of the murder of Anthony Jackson..

Lori Ringo works with Angela Jackson at the Salvation Army in the township. She, like others, came out to show support.

“When God blesses us, we’ve got to love each other — in the good times and the bad,” she said.

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