Fresno family of 9 to receive a new Habitat for Humanity home

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For Will and Janie Sims it was another day of donating their time and work for a good cause. Repainting the Hinton Community Center, with other volunteers from the Fresno Rescue Mission and Habitat for Humanity. Despite their own struggles to raise seven children, they find time to help their community. But Tuesday, they were rewarded.

Matthew Grundy, Habitats local director made the surprise announcement;

"We know you have lived in substandard conditions for a long time but you have continued to give we just want to honor that and tell you today that you have been selected as the next Habitat homeowners. "

The family applied for a Habitat home two years ago, and Wil Sims didn't expect the announcement.

"I am overwhelmed right now I am still in shock."

Will's wife Janie says it will be a relief for their seven kids, ranging in age from 17 months to 12 years old.

"Oh, it's going to be amazing they are going to have their own space, right now they are crammed into a small two bedroom apartment. "

In a few months, the family will be moving into a 1450 square foot home in this northwest Fresno neighborhood. They'll have to do a lot of the work. Will is looking forward to it.

"I've always dreamed of building my own home and we were trying to get houses, trying to see if we can do it with our finances."

Will works full time for the Rescue Mission and does not make a lot of money. But the family qualified for a Habitat home because of their volunteer work, and because they can pay something. It's a program that builds about a dozen homes a year in Fresno, but Grundy says they refurbish many more.

"Habitat is either able to build a new home or improve existing home conditions for 280 homes a year in the Fresno Madera County area."

The kids are looking forward to more room, and a yard to play in. The home will have 4 bedrooms two baths. Enough room for everybody. 8-year-old Madison reads the children's names printed on Dad's T-shirt;

"Isiah, Hope, Isaac, Madison, Harmony, Elijah, and Aurora."

Grundy says Habitat for Humanities goal is to provide homes that leads to stability and helps families improve their lives.
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