INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On a rainy Friday morning, two Indianapolis families received a gift they can treasure forever.
Habitat for Humanity held a dedication ceremony Friday for a brand new pair of homes for families in need.
“We build because we believe that everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home,” a slogan of sorts of Habitat for Humanity.
“It’s like, oh, somebody pinch me, but not for real,” laughed Marina Arila, new homeowner.
State Sen. Jim Merritt said, “We all want to make a difference in our communities, and when you put a hammer to a nail and see the results, it’s exhilarating.”
Both homes were built with the help of Habitat for Humanity and Eli Lilly.
One of them, though, got off to a unique start.
“I didn’t know until the day of that I was the first family to actually build at the Statehouse, ever,” said House Speaker Brian Bosma.
Our cameras were there back in March, when members of the Indiana General Assembly and their staff started building one of the homes right on the grounds of the Capitol building.
“We’ve got a couple of guys who are in the homebuilding business in the General Assembly, in the House, that were obviously super skilled, a lot of guys from farms that really knew what they were doing, and then we had some people who had never picked up a hammer, maybe ever. They learned a lot as well, and it was great to see Republicans and Democrats set differences aside,” said Bosma.
The General Assembly raised more than $50,000 to pay for materials and other construction costs, helping bring new life into a west side neighborhood.
“The ripple effect is just fantastic. There’s now a couple houses and good families,” said Merritt.
“Home is everything. To reestablish this neighborhood, to help reestablish this neighborhood as a significant homestead for folks, I think is really critics,” said Bosma.
Two homes, two families, and a bond that will last a lifetime.
“Our kids actually go to the same school together, so to actually sit in class and get to know each other, this is just God’s way of showing that we were meant to be neighbors next to each other,” said Ebony Duffy, one of the new homeowners.
And now, all that’s left is to turn the houses into homes.
“I can’t wait to decorate! I can’t wait to just let my imagination flow all inside the whole entire house,” said Marina Arila, the other new homeowner.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families in need. Selected families have to pay a small down payment and volunteer time to help build their home and others.
They also have to complete a home ownership education program and financial counseling.