LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — One woman from Lansing has been waiting to get the keys to her own home, and on Saturday, through Habitat for Humanity Capital Region’s Homeownership Program, it finally happened.

“An amazing adventure has finally come to a point where I get to celebrate,” said new homeowner Idalia Cassiano.

Two years ago, Idalia Cassiano was a special education teacher on her way to completing two masters degrees, when both her and her fiancé got COVID-19.

“It was a little bit of denial that the circumstances, but in the month he passed away and we talked a lot. We talked about our future,” said Cassiano. 

For the next two years, she says she was staying at a friend’s house full-time, and for the first couple of weeks, she slept on the floor.

“I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen with me. And so I tried not to get depressed,” said Cassiano. 

Today, after experiencing ups and downs, she is finally on stable ground.

“Having a home for yourself and call it your own is amazing,” said Cassiano. 

But she says this wouldn’t have happened without Habitat for Humanity and the Lansing Housing Commission.

“Just knowing that every single time I come home, I’m gonna feel the peace and the love and the hands that actually will put into that. And every day I’m gonna know that people care,” said Cassiano.

Although the process took time, Cassiano says words from her fiancé before he passed helped her keep her head up high.

“He told me, never stop running, never stop, you know, caring, never stop moving on with your life and never stop believing. And those words come through my mind through the whole process,” said Cassiano.

And throughout it all, Idalia says finding people at work in clubs and at the Habitat for Humanity helped her get to this milestone.

“Anything and everything is possible lovely. If you have the right person in your life, and if you don’t, you have a higher power dig a dig inside of yourself because that hope that love,” said Idalia. “I’m not, not sure who, and it’s never gone away.”