N.B. family surprises couple with brand new home

A dream became reality for one Fredericton-area couple Wednesday, after their family shocked them with a brand new home.

A dream became reality for oneFredericton-area couple Wednesday, after their family shocked them with a brand new home.

Steven Porter, who began losing his sight at 15 because of incurable retinitis pigmentosa, says he struggles to find work.

He and his wife, Lynn, lived in a rundown 30-year-old mobile home, until his family, a church, their neighbours and the business community stepped in to change that, and made it all a surprise for their 20th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

Porter's brother, Matthew Porter, says the family decided to help, and named the mission to secretly build a one-storeyhome inEstey's Bridge,"The Steven Project."

"They live in a very rundown trailer, mobile home in Kelly's Court. Wasn't very warm in the winter, wasn't very dry in the spring, and so we were all very concerned," he said. "The Lord has blessed each one of us family members extremely, and so we started talking about the possibility of getting them into some better living conditions."

Mary Porter, Steven's mother, says she'd been planning that moment for the last nine months.

"We actually had this thought in our minds since last November and then we started probably in February trying to line up contractors."

The actual construction didn't begin until July 23, but after only 4½ weeks, the house is 80 per cent complete.

Money was raised to pay for everything from building supplies to household appliances.

Steven Porter says he was clueless about what his mother had been plotting.

"We'd been kinda banned from her place for a while and just really had no idea… we just thought she was busy with other activities and events and yeah …just strange."

However, the house is not completely paid for yet. The Porter family says they hope donations will keep pouring in, until there's a mortgage-free home to Steven and Lynn's name.