On Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008, Teresa Rowden and her daughter, Amber, realized a dream come true when they were presented with the keys to their new home at 810 S. Sherman in Ennis.  

This project was funded and made possible by Lions Club International and Habitat for Humanity International with local facilitation by the Waxahachie Lions Club and Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County. 

At the dedication ceremony Teresa’s pastor, Booker Washington, gave the opening prayer.  Mayor Russell Thomas, a member of the Ennis Noon Lions Club, presented the Certificate of Occupancy; and current Habitat president, Suzie Timmerman, presented an engraved Bible and ceremonial key to Teresa.   “It’s an answer to prayer,” Teresa said with a big smile, and she thanked her “special heroes” by asking her good friend, Fran Anderson, to sing “Hero.” 

Wallace Roberts, of the Ennis Noon Lions Club and Past District Governor of Lions Club District 2X1, addressed the group of friends and family.  Waxahachie Lions President Jeff Lincks also spoke to the gathering. 

Kerry Gipson and Miles Strunc, long-time volunteers and construction managers on this project, thanked Lions Club International and the Ennis and Waxahachie affiliates, volunteers who worked on the house, and the Ellis County businesses that donated goods and services, some of which include Plan Factory South, AGTM Engineering, Escamilla Concrete, Blazek Building Supply, Ables Metal Buildings, Ennis Door and Trim, Koral Corporation, Sherwin Williams, Garcia Plumbing, Ennis Electric, Beggs Heating & Air, Igloo Foam Insulation, Walker Sheetrock, Allen Brothers Construction, Maverick Metal Trading, A-1 Gutters, Accent Construction, Hejny Contracting, Tidy Toilet, Ennis Glass, Lone Star Floors, Ace Tree Service, Tex Scapes Greenery, The Greenery, Ellis Home Medical Equipment, Roberts Auto Recycling, Delta Windows, Cassity Jones Lumber, James Hardie Company, Hunter Excavation, Boy Scouts of America, City of Ennis Inspection Department, Citizens National Bank and Kolache Depot. 

Construction took 10 months and many volunteers.  The project presented challenges in its design and construction, such as wide doorways, lowered counters, ramps and a roll-in shower since Teresa is wheelchair-bound. 

Teresa’s is the eighth house built by Ellis County Habitat and one of two houses completed in 2008.  Almost four years of hard work and perseverance have passed since her acceptance as a family partner. She met homeownership requirements by earning 300 hours of “sweat equity” working on houses being built for other family partners or other forms of volunteering, meeting income requirements and having a need for housing.

Habitat’s mission is “To witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world by working in cooperation with God's people in need to create a better human habitat in which to live and work.”  

For information about an application, or to make monetary donations, volunteer or donate goods and services to Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County, please see our website: www.ellishabitat.org; email us at info@ellishabitat.org; or call our office and leave a message at 972-937-9727.  Mailing address is P O Box 157, Waxahachie, TX 75168.