A shovel full of dirt means someone’s dream of owning a home is under way.

Members of Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County and the community joined Michael and Sophie Ramirez and their four children in a ground breaking ceremony Saturday morning on Dunlap Street.

“What we are doing is that we are finally having the ground breaking for the Ramirez family. This is going to be a four-bedroom with a one-car garage,” Ellis County Habitat for Humanity president Mary Sword said. 

“The property was donated by Mary Lou Shipley here in town. She actually gave us two lots. We will be building this home and hopefully starting on the next one very soon,” she said.

This is the 11th home to be constructed by the group, which started building homes in 2000.

The process in becoming a homeowner through the Habitat program first involves making an application. The potential homeowners have to work on other homebuilding projects and obtain 150 sweat-equity hours before work begins on their home.

Volunteers do all of the construction on Saturdays with the exception of the foundation. In about nine months, the home will be ready for the family to move in.

Sophie Ramirez said it’s always been a dream to have a home of their own for their family but with the down economy the qualifications were too high to make their dream a reality. She said she learned about Habitat when she went to the city of Waxahachie’s Section Eight housing department. After that meeting she put in her application.

“We have been renting on and off for the last 11 years. I have a big family now and we are living in a three-bedroom apartment and it is kind of tight. We have been living there for three years. My girls and my son are ready to have their own home with the land out here,” Ramirez said. “We’re just looking forward to having our own home and having our own space and moving in.”

 Before the ground was ceremoniously turned, a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing for the family was said.

Volunteers are the key to any project Habitat undertakes and are needed once again. Residents or businesses that want to help in the construction process or make a donation can call Habitat at 972-939-2797.

For additional information, go to the website at www.ellishabitat.org or email at info@ellishabitat.org.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.