A big milestone for two Harford County families: they got the keys to their first homes, build side by side by Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna.
"To be a homeowner has been my dream for a long time," new homeowner Mulugeta Mekuria said.
The Mekuria and Gutema families are moving into Girard Street in Havre de Grace after Habitat volunteers spent 8 months building their new homes.
"We haven't done two next to each other for quite a while, but aht gave us both shared expenses, shared volunteers and it's double the joy today," Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna executive director Karen Blandford said.
The families of three share much more in common than just their new neighborhood. They were acquaintances beforehand and have been in the country for years after moving from Ethiopia, but neither have been able to own a home.
"Sara [his wife] and I came to the USA from Ethiopia with hopes of better opportunities. Today is truly a special day for both of us. I am filled with gratitude," Mekuria said.
Both houses are energy efficient and affordable, but they aren't identical. The Gutema family needed a wheelchair lift and handicapped bathroom because their teenage daughter is in a wheelchair.