EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Evansville's Habitat for Humanity reached a major milestone on Wednesday as workers broke ground on their 500th home.
A lot of hard work and sweat equity goes into building each home for Habitat for Humanity.
These homes aren't just given away for free, each new homeowner has to work hard.
This groundbreaking was a good reminder of all of the community effort it takes to get to this point.
Don Gilles has seen the habitat community grow in the last 15 years. He is a Habitat for Humanity Core Crew Volunteer. Gilles said, "It's awesome to watch them grow it really is. It is like a big flower that grows, the whole system."
As he has built each home he feels the change he and others make are making lasting effects. "You see the actual effect on a family. Especially the little people which are our future. When they see they've got a solid home, they become altogether different," said Gilles.
Wednesday's groundbreaking was special for not just the volunteers but for Tamisha D. and her three children who will soon call an empty lot their new home. "I've met so many great wonderful people who just care, and they want to see me in this home 20 years from now," said Tamisha.
The 500th home is a big accomplishment for the city of Evansville and Habitat for Humanity.
Beth Folz is the Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity, she said, "Population-wise, we are the smallest to ever accomplish this task and yet we are small but mighty."
It's not just the home the community provides, it is a hope for a bright future. Tamisha explained, "It's going to be so many memories that we're going to have. And it's just amazing. I'm just so thankful and I'm so happy."
Don Says every smile makes the hard work worth his years of effort. "We get to know the people. We get to see them. We get close to them. We wave to them when we're in stores. We wave to them here. They become very close friends," said Don.
Evansville joins a list of about 26 cities who have accomplished this goal of building 500 Habitat homes which is why Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke made a proclamation that August 15th is now "500th Habitat Home Day" in the city of Evansville.