Stricklen family receives keys to 950th home built by Habitat for Humanity

Amber Stricklen's new home, the 950th home built by the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. (KOKH)

Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity dedicated their 950th home Friday, a special one for FOX 25 as we assisted the homeowner with the build.

It was a day of hugs and the emotions came gushing out because of one moment: the key hand-off to new homeowner Amber Stricklen.

"That...that hit me. Right then is when I knew this was my house." Stricklen said. "When she hands over those keys...It's not here's the keys to your new house...It's here's the keys to your new life."

We first introduced you to Stricklen two months ago at the Edmond cafe she helps run. Stricklen was in a tough place after losing her husband and father to suicide. She still had a family to raise and she put in the sweat equity needed for a habitat home.

"I still can't feel my finger from the first day when I smashed my finger," Stricklen said.

The bumps and bruises over the past two months are worth it for Amber. FOX 25 employees were there to help along the way by framing the walls, putting up the roof and many hours of painting.

To build dozens of homes a year, Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity's Ann Felton Gilliland says the organization relies on volunteers and donations for the community.

"There's a great need in our community for affordable housing, so we're always trying to raise the money to generate or build more homes," Felton said.

Stricklen says that during her experience with Habitat for Humanity, she's learned a lot about herself.

"From the time that you came into my store to do the interview to now, I do...I feel like I can do this," Stricklen said.

A new home and a fresh start are just what Stricklen and her family needed.

To find out how to qualify for a Habitat for Humanity home, click here.

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