Tina Sanchez stood in her new Habitat for Humanity home after just receiving the keys at a home dedication ceremony Thursday morning.
"I was fighting back the tears out there," Sanchez said of being in her new home at 39274 Jarvis St. in Lacoochee.
"Me, too!" chimed in her sisters and her mother, who were at the ceremony.
Sanchez and her family have been Lacoochee residents since her grandfather came to the area in the 1920s when it was a boomtown.
Until recently, she and her two sons, 16-year-old Christopher and 20-year-old Jonathan, who suffers from spina bifida, lived nearby in a home that is now demolished.
The Sanchez's home is one of seven currently occupied Habitat for Humanity of East and Central Pasco County homes on the block.
There will be another soon.
Crystal Lazar, Habitat chief operating officer, introduced Sanchez and explained that Habitat families put in 400 hours of "sweat equity" to qualify for home ownership.
Sweat equity is work helping build their own home or someone else's Habitat home. They receive their mortgages at zero interest.
"They are now mortgage holders," Lazar said. "Their mortgage payments go right into the next home."
Sanchez was welcomed to the neighborhood by fellow Habitat homeowner Kionna Myers.
Sanchez also was presented with six symbolic gifts representing wishes of goodwill for her and her family.
The gifts were a broom to sweep out the bad and sweep in the good, bread representing Jesus as the bread of life, salt recognizing that God is the salt of the earth, sugar so that the family will know the sweetness of life, a candle in hopes that light will always shine in their lives and a Bible to feed their souls.
Cliff Martin of Jarrett Ford presented her with the keys to the home. Sanchez then cut a ribbon, opening her new home to guests for refreshments.