LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – After thousands of volunteer hours, the La Crosse Area Habitat for Humanity completed its 37th home.
Saturday they opened it to the public for a dedication ceremony.
"May God bless this house with appreciation for its builders and with gratitude for the leading which has brought these people here to make a home," the group said in prayer.
The Lee and Vu family stood on the porch of the home that they helped build.
In a few days, it will officially be theirs.
"I wanted to present you guys with ceremonial keys and got a nice little key chain going with it. So this is for you," said Amanda Acklin, who hugged Cha Lee, one of the new homeowners. Acklin is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity.
Lee and Pa Vue will move into the Habitat for Humanity home with 7 of their children including their son Choua Lee.
"We've been renting around lately and most of us are getting older," Choua Lee said. "It's getting heavy on rent, too."
Habitat helps families who fall between 30 and 60 percent of the county median income, according to Acklin.
"I think the most important thing about this house is how efficient it's going to be for our homeowners," said Habitat construction manager Jason Mather.
With a more energy efficient home, bills stay low, he added.
Mather and about 300 volunteers put in 3,000 hours of work to complete the house.
Even the family had to put in 350 hours of work.
"I get to know them really well and we end up being friends in the end," Mather said of the Lee and Vu family.
"You got to learn how to build a house," said Lee. For him, it was an enriching experience. "It's nice knowing how the house looks like after and before."
The lease will be finalized and the family will officially receive the keys to their new home Thursday.
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