It was a day they'll never forget: the first day of the rest of their lives, in a house of their own. With the help of Habitat For Humanity and more than 200 volunteers, Ray, Angie and their two children saw their dream become reality, as they became homeowners for the very first time. Just two years ago, the family lived in a trailer when they found out they qualified for the program. "It was like winning the lottery, a dream come true, said Angie Kilpela. It was very emotional." The couple are among hundreds of others the program has helped. "We provide homes for people who could not qualify for a conventional bank mortgage but do have the income to pay for a house, said Emily Dekker-Fiela, office coordinator for the organization. Our homes do have a mortgage; they TMre no-interest mortgages. And the help doesn't stop there. The house is energy efficient to keep the costs down. While Colton was busy practicing going in and out of his home, mom struggled to find words. "Wow...I don't even know how to explain it. I mean it TMs going to make our lives better forever. It TMs very energy efficient; we won TMt have to struggle to pay for it, Kilpela said.
The couple had to jump through many hoops to get to this moment. They've both put in more than 400 hours building their house, one of the requirements for the project.
A crowd gathered as the priest blessed their first home. And after four months of building, the keys were finally handed over. "To know that is a house they can stay in for a lifetime and build their family here and all is just really special," Dekker-Fiela said.
The family is expected to move into the house later this week. However, after countless moves in the past few years, they say this one is definitely for life.