Loved ones are helping dreams become a reality by chipping in to help build forever homes with Flower City Habitat for Humanity of Rochester.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of nails," said future homeowner, Kiomy Rivera. "I just hit myself a lot but it’s worth it, the pain.”

It's pain that will lead Rivera to owning her own home on Holworthy Street in the city's west side. Over the last three years, she has dedicated 600 sweat equity hours to Habitat for Humanity, double the requirement.

"Not many people, when they're looking to buy a home, get to say that they were able to play a part in constructing it," said Habitat for Humanity Rochester Family Services Manager Tim Guillemette. "So when they're able to finally move in or they're able to sign on the dotted line and get that 30-year mortgage, they can look around and say 'See this wall, I helped build this. I insulated these wall. I helped lay the foundation.'” 

The Family Build Day brought out people that have also taken part in the homeowner program.

“I remember how hard it was for me to finish my sweat equity hours. It was a lot," Kiomy's friend, Ana Medina said. "It was mainly me and my daughter doing it. When I found out Kiomy was doing it, I said, 'Hey, why not help her out?' You know, I know how it is and I've known her since she was a teenager.”

Not only is Habitat for Humanity investing in families, it's also investing in neighborhoods by building homes. The organization has built over 90 homes in the community through the homeowner’s program.

Rivera has about three months of work left on her house. But she's excited about the future.

“It’s going to change a lot," Rivera said. "I can do whatever I want in my house, I don’t have to depend on anybody so it’s the best."