HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WFFT) -- A Huntington family is getting a fresh start in a new home.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne kicked off its building season on Wednesday for Ashlee Cochrane and her son Theo.
It’s the first of likely 12 homes the group has planned to build.
CEO of Greater Fort Wayne’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, Andrew Gritzmaker, says Wednesday’s build is a big deal for the group.
“This is kind of like our Super Bowl at Habitat,” he said. “So this first house really sets the tone for the rest of the season.”
The chosen families each put in at least 200 hours of “sweat equity,” including financial literacy classes and volunteer hours.
In return, they will have a no-interest mortgage on their home.
“I often say a Habitat home is one of the hardest homes you can get,” Grintzmaker said, “but there’s a lot of pride in that sweat equity and repayment.”
For Cochrane, it’s an opportunity to watch her son grow up in the same town she was raised.
“I think it’s really important for him to grow up with that sense of family, that sense of community,” she said.
The entire build should take 3-4 months to complete.
“It’ll be really cool once it’s done to be able to like go into my house and say ‘I helped build this,’” Cochrane said. “Not a lot of people can say that.”
She knows her hard work will be rewarding in the end.
“I think me and Theo will definitely have to have a dance party through the house and just celebrate,” Cochrane said.
She hopes her success story will inspire others to apply for a Habitat home.
“People out here who are single parents or lower income, it is possible,” she said. “You put in the work, and you can achieve the dream of home ownership.”