The vacant lot on South Marshall Street is where Ericus Adams used to play when she was 6 six years old. Soon, it'll be where her kids play -- in their own yard.
Habitat for Humanity has the lot fenced off for the construction zone and plans to begin building soon. It is part of a 16-house building project -- one of the largest, most concentrated projects that Hartford Habitat has ever undertaken.
"Right now, where we're at, they don't have that ability," she said, "so this will be a life-changing experience for them also and they can grow here and be a part of the community as well.”
On Tuesday morning, dirt flew at a ceremonial groundbreaking to build homes in one of the most blighted areas of Hartford, according to Habitat for Humanity.
"Well we're gonna be building 16 townhouses for hardworking, low-income families," Mike Brett, executive director of Habitat, said. "Families who put in 150 hours of sweat equity and 50 hours education in order to earn their way to a house."
Owen and Maebeth Lawrence are looking forward to life without cockroaches.
"It's good to have a home for yourself," she said, eager to stop paying her landlord. "Thank God!"
The real groundbreaking will be in a few weeks. Habitat plans to have framing up this summer and finish the work in a year and a half.