WILMINGTON -- As the saying goes, home is where the heart is. That's especially true for one Wilmington resident whose friends, family and co-workers are helping to build her first house after a long personal struggle. New homeowner Wendy James said, "At some point there's just a light at the end of the tunnel and you just go for it." James has come a long way. Eight years ago she divorced an abusive husband and fell on hard times. "When I left them I lived in the domestic violence shelter for three months and I started from nothing." On Saturday she broke ground for her first house. It was a gift from Habitat for Humanity and New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where she's worked for the past 20 years... New Hanover Regional Medical Center President Jack Barto said, "When we can help one of our own that's just a wonderful thing to do." The hospital contributed $60,000 to fund the project. It's also contributing the labor. James's colleagues will help build the house over the next few months. "This is a family and you look around. Wendy's got two families, the family that she was raised with and the one she works with," James said. Wendy's friend and co-worker Rochelle Brittany says she admires James's determination and she's happy to help. Friend and co-worker Rochelle Britton said, "There's not more of a person deserving of this home than Wendy. They picked the perfect person." James said, "I'm excited and just very blessed and happy." She will live in the house with her four children. The house should be completed by mid-July.
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