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Dozens of people celebrated World Habitat Day in Newburgh on Sunday. YNN's Jessica Chen has more on the organization's message.
NEWBURGH, N.Y -- With a wife and five kids, Juan Cruz could only dream of owning a home.
"You don't have that kind of money to buy a house," said Cruz.
His son, Juan Cruz Jr., thinks back to the apartment they rented for years.
"We use to live on a street where a lot of bad stuff happened, my car got shot once, people got killed on that street," said Cruz Jr.
However, four months ago, Habitat for Humanity made Cruz's dream a reality. He and his family now live in a four bedroom house in the city of Newburgh.
On Sunday, Cruz and other families expressed their gratitude to Habitat Newburgh by celebrating World Habitat Day at the Guzman Chapel at Mount Saint Mary College.
"Newburgh is a poor city, there is a lot of poverty here, and there's a lot of need," said Habitat Newburgh Organizer, Reverend Deke Spierling.
He said the affordable homes by Habitat for Humanity are for families who have a stable income, good credit, and who will commit to helping with the non-profit organization.
"Pay their mortgage and maintain their house; these are important things in keeping neighborhoods strong," said Spierling.
Officials with Habitat for Humanity said 76 homes have already been built in Newburgh. They plan to build more homes at a rate of 10 new homes per year.
The hope is to continue helping families like the Cruz's.
"Now that we're a part of this group, we need to go out and help other people because I don't like it when I see people ion the street where they don’t have a place to live," said Cruz Jr.