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SACRAMENTO — With help from Habitat for Humanity, a Sacramento woman who’s battled tragedy and poverty received the keys to her new house Saturday in front of family and friends.

A single mother, Rina Dixon asks for nothing. She works hard, providing a life for her children.

“Monday through Friday, I work as a receptionist at a doctor’s office,” said Dixon.

For the past three years, she’s had a third job, building a home of her own.

Rob Kerth is the Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity. He says watching Dixon worked diligently for all these years has been incredible.

“She had to work 500 hours on other people houses, and on her house, to be in a position to own this house,” said Kerth.

It’s called sweat equity. Dixon put in countless hours of hammering, painting, building. All of it she says, was a labor of love, fueled by hope.

Laine Himmleman with Habitat for Humanity says the organization does not offer hand outs, rather they offer hand ups. She notes how hard Dixon had to work for this dream to come true.

“Today, we’re here celebrating the dedication for Rina Dixson, this is our 130th home that we’ve completed here in Sacramento County,” said Himmelman.

Dixon and her family went from living in a 200 square foot garage to a beautiful new home.

Life hasn’t always been kind to Dixon. She’s known unimaginable grief. In 2007 her husband was murdered, she says the pain is still as raw as the day he was taken.

“It has been a long nine years without him,” said Dixon.

Built from the ground up, the family says they are finally able to savor the feeling of having a home to call their own. Dixon says it gives her children a safe place.

“Having their own rooms, decorating their own rooms having their own space, going from a converted garage to a home is amazing,” said Dixon.

“She said I never gave up hope, but this finally feels real,” said Himmelman.

The key to the house, opens up more than just a front door, for this family, it’s the foundation for a world of opportunity.

In addition to getting the keys, Rina will also get a mortgage with zero percent interest so she can purchase the home.