Trinity Habitat for Humanity CEO Gage Yager and new homeowner Melanie Angel, 26, celebrate the organization’s 1,000th build at the Oct. 13. board cutting ceremony, which is held at every Habitat groundbreaking. Angel, the recipient of the new home, lives in Azle, northwest of Fort Worth. She is looking forward to having a place for her three children to call home, she said. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Melanie Angel, 26, and her three children — 5, 3 and 1 — live in Azle, northwest of Fort Worth. 

But they won’t be so far from work and school for much longer. Angel’s family received Trinity Habitat for Humanity’s 1,000th home, a milestone only 13 other Habitat for Humanity affiliates have achieved.

Angel broke ground on her East Davis Avenue home on Oct. 13. With teary eyes, she thanked the organization and volunteers for her blessing.

“I’m really, like, I’m at a loss for words for how grateful I am,” Angel said. “I was praying about how it was a great opportunity and a great stepping stone for my family and for my children. My biggest thing in my life is to give my kids a good life, and this is a start.”

Currently, the single mother of three attends Tarrant County College and is studying to become an English as a second language teacher. She works two jobs: as a restaurant server and as a relationship banker.

Melanie Angel, 26, receives a blessing from Trinity Habitat for Humanity partner church pastors Oct. 13 at her house’s groundbreaking. Angel’s home should be completed in early 2024, she said. When she applied about a year ago, Angel said she didn’t think she’d get chosen for the home. She was shocked when they called her and broke the news. “I was literally struck. There’s no way it’s me. It just feels like such an honor,” Angel said. It reassured her that there had to have been 999 others who received a home before her, and she knows this is going to be a successful move for her, she said. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
Melanie Angel, 26, thanks Trinity Habitat for Humanity on Oct. 13 for choosing her to be the recipient of their 1,000th build. Angel, who has three children, said she works two jobs while attending school. She and her children attend school in Fort Worth, but they live in Azle. She has to wake them at 5 a.m. to get ready for the day. “I travel an hour every morning, and then I have to travel an hour every evening just to get home. … That’s the only place that I could afford that’s big enough to have me and my three children,” Angel said. “Now that I have this opportunity, we have not only just a place to be but an actual home.” (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
New homeowner Melanie Angel, far left, and City Council members Michael Crain and Alan Blaylock raise the first wall of Trinity Habitat for Humanity’s 1,000th build. The milestone marks the impact the organization has had on underserved communities in Fort Worth, CEO Gage Yager said. “I see this foundation, and while I still see a house foundation, I see a rocket ship. That’s the platform for a blast off of the future of Melanie and her three beautiful children,” Yager said. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
Trinity Habitat for Humanity volunteers work on Melanie Angel’s East Davis Avenue home on Oct. 13. Work on the home is expected to be completed in early 2024, Angel said. She is glad she will no longer have to wake her children up at 5 a.m. daily for the commute to school and work. “We’ll have more time that we can spend together. I can spend more time playing with them instead of having to drive, and they’ll have a place to call their own,” Angel said. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Angel said this will be a home in her family for generations to come. Outside of the convenience of not having to drive for hours daily, she sees the home as something she can leave her children when she’s gone.

“We don’t have to bounce around anymore. We don’t have to wonder where the next home is going to be,” Angel said. “This is going to be our forever home.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...