Today was a significant day for one Amarillo family as they began work on their new house with help from Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity has built or rehabbed more than 90 homes in Amarillo and Saturday, June 22, 2013 they're adding one more home to that list. Their mission is simple, to bring people together to build homes, community, and hope.
According to Habitat for Humanity, Volunteer Coordinator, Cindy Johnson, one-third of the population in the United States lives in substandard housing.
â??Through this program we are trying to help low income families that want to purchase a home instead of continue their rental process, be able to gain home ownership status.â?? said Johnson.
In order for families to qualify, they must pass a screening that includes employment history and credit references indicating if they will be able to pay back the cost of the home.
Ja Meh and Nga Reh came to Amarillo three years ago with their six children. Saturday, June 22, 2013 they raised the walls to their new home, but not alone.
Johnson says there are many volunteers who participate in building the homes, but families within the program help as well.
â??Our families are required to do what is called sweat equity, which means you volunteer to help build your neighbor's home.â?? said Johnson â??It's a process that builds relationships and friendships through our habitat neighborhoods.â??
Once a family fulfills their sweat equity, they are ready for their own home.
Habitat for Humanities has a total of 11 families in the program. Ja Meh, Nga Reh's family is just one of four families ready to start construction.
Other Habitat for Humanity families say that the program is life changing.
Habitat Board Member, Tomas Bonillas said that it is wonderful to see the joy on familiesâ?? faces when they first receive the keys to their house, but it is also rewarding for the volunteers.
â??It's just a great thing to be able to know that twenty years from now, when you drive down this road, that you had a part in putting something here.â?? said Bonillas â??you can actually see the efforts of all the community here in Amarillo.â??
Habitat for Humanity has plans to build five more homes next year, including their 100th home where they ask for you to help them celebrate by volunteering or donating.
For more information you can visit http://amarillohabitatforhumanity.org/.