SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An organization that helps people settle into homes is marking a milestone.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls is celebrating 30 years this week.

In those three decades, the organization has built or rehabilitated 160 homes in the area.

Linda Watts is still living in the local chapter’s very first home.

The century-old white house may look like your average home on the block, but Watts what it means to her.

“It has made all the difference in our lives,” Linda Watts said.
As a young mom, following the traditional path to home ownership wasn’t exactly in the cards.

“I was a single parent with two small kids and a job that was not paying that great,” Watts said.

But it turned out, owning a house would be possible with the help of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls.

The organization rehabilitated the house nearly 3 decades ago.

The keys have been in Watts’ hands ever since.

“Oh, this house holds all of our memories. It’s our Christmases. It’s our birthdays. It’s kids learning to ride their bikes in the driveway,” Watts said.

Those are the stories Niki Schillerstrom with the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls likes to hear.

“We all want the same things, whether you’re lower, middle or higher income. We all want to take care of our families; we all want to feel safe and secure; and we all want to know we can afford tomorrow,” Community Relations Director Niki Schillerstrom said.

“When this house was dedicated, I remember saying that when I turn the knob to open the door of this house it’s not just me, it’s the hundreds of volunteers,” Watts said.

That thought still crosses her mind, when she opens the door to her old, white house each day.

The 30th anniversary celebration isn’t over just yet.

There will be sales Saturday at the ReStore.