Habitat for Humanity hosts groundbreaking ceremony Feb. 7.

The sound of a shovel striking the ground in downtown Dover signifies a big change for one Delaware native. Candice Bell joined Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity at the groundbreaking for her new home on Kirkwood Street Feb. 7.

Bell said she knew she wanted to apply for a home with Habitat after driving around downtown with former executive director Dan Simpson.

“He talked about his passion of making downtown Dover and other areas outside Dover so much better,” Bell said. “Just how he was talking and his love for it, that’s what stuck with me.”

Bell grew up and lived in Dover much of her life, and she wasn’t sure she would stay in the area long-term. Now, she said the promise of being a homeowner in her hometown means a lot.

After she first learned about Habitat at an NCALL orientation, Bell said she didn’t think it was for her. “I always thought Habitat was catered to single families with children or married families with children and low-incomes. So, I didn’t entertain it at all,” she said.

But, when a close friend gave her Simpson’s business card, she gave it a shot. She completed the application, and a few months later the staff announced her approval, surprising her at a routine meeting.

“That day they surprised me, I was definitely ecstatic, super happy and super grateful to God,” she said. “[Homeownership] was something that I didn’t think was possible.”

“I feel like I finally have a sense of something to call my own. When you’re renting an apartment you can’t call it your own. Now I have a space I can go to with a sense of peace and comfort and say, ‘hey this is mine,’” she said. “I can’t say it enough because I’m honestly grateful because it’s a goal I wanted to achieve and I’m finally achieving it.”

For more about Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity’s work, visit http://centraldelawarehabitat.org/.