WACO, TX (FOX 44) – The hunt for affordable housing is hard with many of us feeling the burden of inflation.

It can take months to find a decent place to live, but one Waco woman just beat the challenge.

“For over four years Jessica Dugan has been living in a shelter a part of Compassion Waco’s transitional housing program.

Today, with the help of Habitat For Humanity, she’s now moving into her new home.

It was an overload of emotions for Dugan, as she cut the ribbon on her new home after waiting a year to get it done.

“I just feel overwhelmed with joy. I’m so grateful that everyone came out,” said Dugan.

Ever since she graduated from Compassion Waco’s transitional housing program, she’s been working as a home health services caregiver.

She says giving back to others is a part of her journey.

“I’m in college to be a social worker, and being a caregiver and being in social work kind of goes hand in hand so I really like it,” said Dugan.

“As she helps others, Dugan continued to help herself by completing Waco Habitat’s New Homeowners College Program.

In her time with Habitat for Humanity, she even helped other home owners have their special day like today.

“New Homeowners College is an education program that our homeowners go through before they buy a house,” said John Alexander, Executive Director for Waco Habitat for Humanity. “It covers budgeting, maintenance, home maintenance, legal aspects of homeownership, taxes, insurance, learning about how to be a homeowner.”

Working with volunteers to build her three bed and one and a half bathroom home, she’s happy that she and her two kids, Serenity and Braxton, can have a permanent place to call home.

“I’ve never owned a home, and I’ve also never owned a home with my children, so they get to have their own,” said Dugan. “I’ve never experienced it before, but I think that’s what’s so great is that me and my children get to thrive together in a new situation.”

Completing the Habitat’s New Homeowners College Program, Dugan doesn’t have any interest on a 30-year mortgage.