MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Nine Mid-South families are enjoying new homes thanks to their own hard work and Habitat for Humanity. The nine homes are part of a bigger redevelopment plan in Hickory Hill.
"I'm overwhelmed," Ametria Miller said. "I'm so excited."
Prayers were lifted up Saturday morning inside Ametria Miller's new house. The mother of three is a homeowner for the first time.
"It's mine. It feels like I made this. I built this. Every touch, I had my hands on it," she said.
In all, nine homes were dedicated in the Eden Square neighborhood in Hickory Hill. A senior citizens complex and 38 more homes are planned in the area, along with other amenities, as part of a sustainable community project.
Pastor Stacy Spencer with New Direction Christian Church is leading the charge.
"That's a great vision. It's going to take time to get there, but we are moving," he said. "We're building up, and I just believe this is a turning point for Hickory Hill and also the city of Memphis."
The need is great for Habitat for Humanity and the services they provide in the Memphis area. The group reports the poverty rate is roughly 27 percent.
"That is the population we are working with, folks who are struggling to make ends meet and cannot do that in their current rental situations," President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis Dwayne Spencer said.
For Memphians like Ametria Miller – that means a fresh start. And hope.
"It feels great, a first time homeowner," she said.