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Habitat for Humanity handed keys to new homeowners

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CHICO, Calif. - Two Chico families were handed keys to their newly built homes Saturday. Homes that have been built by Habitat for Humanity.

However, the homes themselves weren't simply given to them; some elbow grease by the families themselves helped get them built.

Vanessa Bruhns eagerly opened the door to the place her family has anticipated to call home.

"It's been a great blessing. Everybody that has been here helping us. There's no words that I can describe about how happy I am," Husband Anthony Bruhns said.

Their dream came true thanks to Butte County's Habitat for Humanity.

The Bruhns were one of many applicants chosen for affordable housing for their family of five.

Construction Manager Robert Fraga said this was his first year with the organization.

"This has been the most rewarding year for me, watching volunteers and people all different backgrounds, all different ages, and yet they come out and want to help," Fraga said.

Volunteers and the families themselves started building in October, each putting in 500 hours of labor.

"My wife, she hasn't swung a hammer that many times, so she got to learn how to swing a hammer," Anthony said.

The Bruhns said a special part of the program is they get to know their neighbors before they even move in.

"We helped build their house, and they helped build ours, so vice versa. We were all together as a team trying to get both houses built," Anthony said.

Their hard work made this moment all the more rewarding.

"It's just good to see exactly how your house was made and be a part of it, to know it was done right," Anthony said.

The Bruhns are excited to call themselves homeowners.

"It feels great. We're happy that we have a place for our kids to grow up in and so they know what it's like to own a home," Anthony said.

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