“I’m looking forward to just sitting on my porch and catching a breeze,” Kelli Council-Lattie said, looking out at where her vegetable garden will soon replace sawhorses and tool boxes. “Peace." Kelli spent years dealing with unexpected rent increases. She finally took a leap of faith to secure a stable future for her daughters, Jada and Jayla. Kelli’s house is the final one in Phoenix Place, a community of 50 homes that Habitat volunteers began building in 2010.

Though the neighborhood is almost complete, the spirit of love and collaboration in this community will continue to grow. Phoenix Place represents stability that many, like Kelli, feared was out of reach. “I’m looking forward to meeting all my neighbors and imagining what we’ll look like when we’re old and gray, still living here,” she added with a laugh.

Kelli has nearly completed 325 hours of ‘sweat equity’’ by working alongside volunteers to build her home and others in her neighborhood. She is the first to admit that she has caught the Habitat bug. “I can’t wait to help build more houses with Habitat. I get so excited now going into Lowe’s and recognizing the different tools!”

Volunteer builders and funds for Kelli’s house were provided by Hammers and Hearts, a partnership between Christ United Methodist Church, UNC Student Health Action Coalition, University Presbyterian Church and University United Methodist Church.