OGDEN -- With today's housing prices, Elizabeth Guerrero was worried she would never be able to own her own home.
Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and her own hard work, Guerrero is now a proud homeowner.
The last of three homes renovated by Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis Counties on Doxey Street in Ogden was dedicated and the keys presented to Guerrero during a special ceremony Monday.
"I am so excited and grateful," Guerrero said. "My kids are so excited and happy. There are not enough words to say how much this means to me."
Guerrero said she heard about Habitat for Humanity through a friend, so she decided to pick up an application to see if she qualified for a new home.
"I handed it in and they accepted my application," she said. "I've always wanted a home, but I never thought I could afford the payments. This is the opportunity I've been waiting for."
The home, which had colorful balloons tied to the front porch and railing, has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, kitchen with a pantry, basement and yard. Hundreds of volunteers put in thousands of hours over a two-year period restoring the home, said Brook Lyons, past president and public relations chairman for Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis Counties.
"We bought the home that really should have been condemned," Lyons said. "We gutted it and started completely over."
Several students from Weber State University, as well as local contractors and community members, helped to build the home, Lyons said.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian-based organization with the goal of helping low-income families build and buy their own homes.
Partner families must meet certain income requirements and must be willing to perform "sweat equity" to help build their own homes. They must also be willing to participate in programs designed to help them become more successful homeowners, said the organization's president, Tom Hart.
"This is not a hand out, it's a hand up," Hart said. "Elizabeth spent between 300 and 600 hours of sweat equity, and she really put a lot of faith in our organization, because we didn't know what the final cost of the home would be until everything was completed.
"I'm happy to say we have closed on this home and it is officially hers. This is a joyous day not only for us but for Elizabeth and her children."
Guerrero and her children moved to Utah in 2008. Guerrero works for a local manufacturing company as a telephone operator. Her children, Jaylin, 7, and Joshua, 4, are excited to have a yard to play in, she said.
"We will have a life of happiness in this home," she said. "I kept praying to God for this day and would like to thank him and Habitat for Humanity for helping to make this dream come true."
The home was dedicated by Pastor Joe Flores of Christian Worship Center. The prayer shawl was presented by Nancy Groshart of The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. Guerrero and her children then cut the ribbon to celebrate their new home.
Habitat for Humanity is now building a new home at 3457 Jefferson Ave., Ogden. The goal is to have the home completed and dedicated by the end of May. The organization is seeking volunteers and donations.
For information, call 801-475-9821 or visit weberdavishabitat.org.