Alice native Maricela Gutierrez and her daughter Alyana signed the papers this week to start breaking ground and laying slab for their new home with the help of the Jim Wells County Habitat for Humanity.

Gutierrez said she applied last year and was denied; so when she tried again this year she decided to put it in God's hands and wait to see.

“I was ecstatic when I heard the news,” Gutierrez said. “Alyana and I have been living in an apartment for six years and to be a homeowner is a dream come true.”

The newly awarded family will begin the 300 hours of labor to help build the home this November.

This will be the 17th house built by the JWC Habitat for Humanity and care-a-vanners. Families in JWC have had the opportunity to become homeowners thanks to a global nonprofit housing organization because of the local organization.

Each year a family in the county is chosen from a stack of applications. Gutierrez will be the 17th family to benefit from this organization.

“Our Habitat families experience the love of Jesus Christi through the hands of many volunteers working with them to build their home,” said JWC Habitat for Humanity president Dale Wilson. “The families meet and network with a number of people from all walks of life working to create a better human habitat for them."

Habitat for Humanity works in local communities across all 50 states in the United States and in approximately 70 countries with one goal - to provide people with a decent place to live and call home.

The Habitat for Humanity crew is made solely of volunteers, both local and non-local. Most of the crew members are retired and dedicate all their time to building the home they are signed up for. The Christian housing ministry is possible because of the volunteers and private donations.

The houses are sold at no profit and no interest to families who may not otherwise afford a home.