KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A family of five is celebrating after they will become among the first to buy a home in Habitat for Humanity’s new Knoxville neighborhood.

Ellen’s Glen is a new neighborhood containing 35 homes, that Knoxville Habitat says will provide strength, stability, and self-reliance to the families who will call the neighborhood home. The neighborhood includes sidewalks, underground utilities and three, four and five-bedroom homes with single-car garages.

FirstBank has provided funding and volunteers to build the first home in the neighborhood. This partnership is part of their larger Sustaining Partnership that includes other sponsorships over a two-year period. The neighborhood also received funding from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) and Knox County Community Development (HUD funding administered through Knox County).

The first home will belong to future homeowners Cierra, her husband Tobius and their three children. According to Knoxville Habitat, Cierra and her husband sought out the group because they wanted their children to grow up in a place where they felt safe and would be able to thrive. In their current apartment, the parents say the neighborhood often feels unsafe and the loud environment makes working from home and caring for young children difficult.

“I want my children to have a place to call home,” said Cierra. “It will be like a safe haven.”

The parents shared that their children cannot safely play outside, which is especially difficult since they all play sports. In addition, Knoxville Habitat shared that they are often without maintenance help, even when living conditions are not acceptable.

The family has been looking for a fresh start, but the rising cost of rent has been difficult for them to overcome. This is why they are excited about the opportunity to work with Knoxville Habitat and build their first home.

“I feel like I’m at home every time I come to one of the meetings,” Cierra said. “Just being able to engage with other families that are wanting the same things we’re wanting is the most amazing part.”

On Wednesday, October 5, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity and FirstBank will dedicate the very first home in Ellen’s Glen along with Cierra and her family.

Ellen’s Glen is named in honor of Knoxville Habitat founder Ellen “Sis” Roddy Mitchell. In 1985, Mitchell founded the Knoxville affiliate of Habitat for Humanity as a way to help families build and purchase affordable homes. Since then, Knoxville Habitat has helped over 700 families and the nonprofit continues to build upon Mitchell’s legacy through homes built in her honor.