Friday, August 20, 2010

Home is where the heart is

There's the old adage "home is where the heart is," and that, perhaps, is none more so true than with Tamika Allen, who got the keys to her first house on Friday.

But this wasn't any home build -- throughout the past three months, Habitat for Humanity spearheaded an effort to get hundreds of volunteers from several organizations to help build the Allen family a home.

Furthermore, volunteers helped assemble and paint the home here at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, just east of the DNR complex. The house will then be moved Sept. 14 to its new home off Bellafontaine Street in Indianapolis. Habitat officials said this is only the second time that any chapter throughout the nation has built a home not on its final location.

Even though Tamika has her keys, she'll have plenty of entertaining to do in the next 2-1/2 days: The house is open through Sunday for all fairgoers to walk through.

"It's been a long year, but I've finally made it today," Tamika said outside her new house.

It was a heck of a housewarming. Boomer from the Indiana Pacers, as well as reps from various sponsors, such as Kroger, Dow AgroSciences and the Indiana State Fairgrounds, stopped by to drop off presents and share stories about the build.

"It was a very challenging and ambitious schedule," said Dean Illingworth, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis. "The heat didn't slow us down. In fact, there was one day we were ahead of schedule."

Welcome home, Tamika.

Submitted by Kristofer Karol

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