Rockford mother emotional upon learning of new home, courtesy of Habitat for Humanity

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity broke ground on their 2021 construction season on Saturday. We were there as they got started on two of their homes.

“I was actually standing outside getting my car looked at, so my mechanic saw me break down and he was like, ‘it’s going to be okay’ thinking I’m crying about the car. And I’m like ‘no,” said homeowner Charae Howard.

That was the moment Charae Howard was told her Habitat for Humanity housing application was chosen. After COVID-19 delayed the building process, she was finally able to watch Saturday as volunteers assembled her soon-to-be home.

A home not only for her but her four children, all under the age of ten.

“They are so excited. The biggest thing they are excited about is that I told them we will get a dog,” said Howard.

Howard’s kids aren’t the only ones excited to move. Devonna Fote’s daughter, Destiny Stamp, is already designing her bedroom. She says the plan is to paint it sea green and pink.

“From like going through stuff and knowing that like we can just come somewhere and know like we ain’t gotta worry about nothing happening over here,” said Stamp.

The executive director says they look for families who have a need for housing and are willing to get their hands dirty too.

“By partnership, we mean coming out and helping build houses, taking financial classes, do things, you know, to better themselves and our community,” said Asevedo, Executive Director of the Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity.

Board of Director President Peter Schmeling says his favorite part of the process is actually days like today.

“Watching these houses come together, wall by wall, with all volunteer labor and watching the homeowners get right in there with all the volunteers and watch their house come to life,” said Schmeling.

Saturday’s gusty winds have not stopped them. The volunteers are working on one of the two houses being built today.

When finished, they will move on to the rest of the construction, adding a total of six new homes to the neighborhood.”

“It’s made possible by two groups of people, our volunteers, the people who choose to come out and give up their time and talent, and our donors,” added Asevedo.

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