AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The latest update on the construction process is attached above, but you can find links to previous updates at the bottom of this article.
The dream of homeownership remains a dream for many people in the Austin area. But thanks to Austin Habitat for Humanity and dozens of volunteers, that dream is about to become reality for one woman and her kids who will have a home for the holidays.
Loana Suazo moved to the U.S. when she was eight years old.
"Actually came to New York," Suazo told KVUE.
After a decade in the Big Apple, the Honduras native moved to the land where everything is bigger: Texas.
"Of course, it was love at the time," she said.
A few decades and four kids later, Suazo found herself as a single mom running out of space, tired of telling her kids to be quiet while playing in their cramped apartment.
"What's it feel like knowing you can do whatever you want to do, whatever you want?" KVUE Daybreak's Rob Evans asked Suazo.
"I'm just excited – and my privacy, my kids being able just to be in the house and not worry about, 'Stop making noise, stop jumping,'" she said.
PHOTOS: Rob Evans builds a home with Habitat For Humanity
Suazo is also tired of spending a huge amount of time commuting.
"I used to drive an hour just to come to work," she said. "And to go back home, because of the traffic, it would take me two hours."
KVUE was present at the wall-raising ceremony for Suazo's new house – and we've been there every week since.
"Oh, I'm already imagining where my living room and my kitchen will be, where I'm going to be standing just looking at the view," Suazo said, admiring the framework of her future home.
For our "Home for the Holidays" series, KVUE is following not only the stories of Suazo and her family but also all the volunteers who come out each Thursday to build the house – through the sun, rain and heat.
All to help one family realize the American dream: homeownership. Just in time to have a home for the holidays.
In late November, the project passed its rough inspection, where experts look at the electrical, plumbing and framing to make sure the house is in shape before the crew puts up the insulation and the drywall.
The drywall was expected to go up in the next few weeks. In the meantime, crews – including four of the 14 volunteers from Insight Global, who used their service day to make an impact – finished up the siding and trim. Prep work for the driveway was also completed and fence posts were installed.
Volunteers took Thanksgiving off, but there was still a lot more to do during the first week of December, including installing kitchen cabinets, interior doors and trim. By the end of the first week of December, crews had put up drywall and begun installing the cabinets.
The volunteer portion of the build wrapped up the week before Christmas. The ceremony to show Leona her new home has been pushed back to January, but KVUE will be there and we'll let you know what she thinks.
Below you can watch all four of our updates on the construction process:
Habitat for Humanity is always in need of volunteers. No experience is necessary. Click here to learn more about volunteering.
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