Hundreds of people eager to be in President Obama’s audience toughed out the cold overnight Tuesday waiting in line for tickets for his Phoenix visit; a line that snaked around a block away from the Phoenix Union High School District

offices where tickets were being distributed. Obama’s coming to town Thursday to discuss his ideas to make it easier to own a home.

Jimmie Lewis, who has dreams of buying his own home, is among the first in line. Lewis, a construction worker, says he and his girlfriend are expecting their first child and he wants to build his credit to fulfill the dream of owning a home. Not to mention the fact this will be the first time he’ll be seeing a president in person, and the first African-American one at that. Lewis came to Arizona in 2005 as a Hurricane Katrina evacuee, and he adds, he wants to help rebuild the Lower 9th Ward where he grew up and lost his home at the age of 14 years old amid Katrina’s fury.

Ann Reese, also waiting in line hopes Obama will provide solutions for her underwater mortgage. She says the family could not qualify for refinancing under HARP.

The President arrives in Arizona Wednesday night, then appears at Phoenix’s Central High School for the 10:30 program.

–Barbara Villa