MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis celebrates 40 years of service by building a dozen new homes.

New developments are coming to the Castalia Heights community, and of the 12 new homes popping up, one could be the 600th build for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis.

For two years, LaTonya Keykendall says she has been praying for the day she could finally call herself a homeowner. 

“I never thought I’d be buying a home, but it feels great,” said Keykendall.

She says after hearing about Memphis Habitat’s homebuying program, she immediately applied.

“I really wanted this [house]. When I came, me and my 13-year-old, we stood here and prayed for this particular house. When I pulled off, I felt like God was going to give it to me, and he did,” said Keykendall. 

She is one of 12 families moving into the neighborhood through that same program.

Officials say it’s the largest single-site build since 2019.

This build season also comes at a special time for Memphis Habitat. They are celebrating 40 years of helping families become homebuyers.

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“So, then you’re changing the family’s trajectory. Now, you have savings. You have an emergency fund. You have the ability to provide things for your children and family that you might otherwise not have been able to,” said Lori Humber, Chief Operating Officer of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis.

Magnolia-Castalia Community Association President Carolyn Goodwin says with the neighborhood being saturated with renters, she’s excited to see people ‘buying back’ the community.

“People who own their home take care of them. That’s what people want. They want a safe place for their children to live and grow up in,” said Goodwin.

Memphis Habitat officials say they are still looking for volunteers.