One of McKinney’s most treasured citizens is homeless. She is 83, and will celebrate her 84th birthday on June 16.

Ruby Green has never really had a home. She moved from migrant quarters where she picked cotton as a child to McKinney at about age 12. This proud woman attended school for only a few years, leaving her lessons to work when the crops needed picking. She married another field worker and lost her only son to a now-curable disease. A fall down a flight of stairs caused her to miscarry a daughter. Her husband died as well.

Miss Ruby, as she is known in the community, recalls finding sheets of metal and boards with her mother, which they nailed together to form a home with a dirt floor. There was no running water. Following the death of her mother, she continued to live by herself in the dwelling and has no living relatives.

Several years ago, the citizens of McKinney rescued Miss Ruby and moved her into a manufactured home on Lively Hill in east McKinney. Many remember as her old shack and outhouse were demolished and rats and snakes scurried from the debris.

She has loved her Lively Hill home for years, sitting on the front porch to greet her neighbors with her constant companion, her dog Peewee. McKinney Community Development Corporation featured the elderly woman as an exceptional citizen in a documentary they prepared showing McKinney’s history and cultural diversity.

Recently, a slow water leak has made her home unlivable. While attempting to stop the leak, mold accumulation was discovered that has necessitated Miss Ruby and Peewee to move in with a neighbor. Her recent bouts with upper respiratory infections may be attributed to the situation in her home.

North Collin County Habitat for Humanity, which has been providing for Miss Ruby’s utilities, taxes and insurance through private donations, will demolish the home and construct a new Habitat home on the same lot. Her house will have three bedrooms and two baths, like many other Habitat homes, and will allow Miss Ruby to live her years in a safe environment. Her new front door will face E. Virginia St.

Community help is needed to construct this home, which will begin April 1. Funds have been promised by Trinity Presbyterian Church-McKinney, St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, Amerisource Bergen, Simpson Strong Tie, Bud Ward, Deb Hall and Dennis Telzrow. An additional $20,000 is needed. Financial commitment guarantees volunteer opportunities in this special house, which will remain the property of NCC-Habitat.

Miss Ruby has touched many hearts in McKinney and is in need of gifts of cash, lumber, shingles and other materials to construct her home. For more information and to offer assistance, please contact Celeste H. Cox at NCC-Habitat, 972-542-5300 or celeste@ncc-habitat.com.