For three years, all the Dixon family could afford to call home was a tiny garage.
After Rina Dixon's husband was murdered in 2007, she found herself a single mother, unable to afford rent, Little Things reports.
Despite taking on multiple jobs, it was not enough to provide for her three children.
Moving into public housing in Sacramento, California, only made matters worse, with violent shootings in the neighborhood.
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It looked as if she had no choice: either move into her mother's tiny garage, or risk her grieving family's lives.
So for three years, the family of four lived in the 200-square-foot garage, with no electricity and barely any privacy.
While Rina’s 16-year-old daughter, Jaela, slept in the living room, Rina and her two sons slept in a small makeshift bedroom.
The future looked bleak until one miraculous day in 2013.
Rina, tired of their lifestyle, applied to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity while working full-time as a receptionist, KTXL reports.
When the group accepted her into its 2013 program, she was ecstatic.
With the organization's help, she used her own two hands and worked nearly 500 hours to build a proper home for her family.
It was not an easy journey as she was working on her house as well as building homes for others.
“She had to work 500 hours on other people's houses, and on her house, to be in a position to own this house,” said Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Rob Kerth.
Sweltering days and freezing cold nights in the garage often tested her will, but she kept going for her children.
"I get home, look at my kids and our living situation -- in a converted garage -- and I say to myself, ‘I’m not a quitter. I refuse to let my kids see me give up,'" she explained.
Finally in March 2016, the three-bedroom home with two bathrooms was finished. With a zero percent interest mortgage, Rina was able to purchase the new home.
Nine years after their husband and father died, the family members burst into tears of joy as they were handed their keys.
Nearly a decade of struggle later, the family had finally found happiness and a home.
Sources: Little Things, KTXL / Photo credit: Facebook/Habitat For Humanity Of Greater Sacramento via Little Things