St. Joe Co. organization's project to bring former President Jimmy Carter to town

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County broke ground Friday on a plot of land in South Bend's Shetterley Triangle that former President Jimmy Carter will take part in.

Community leaders gathered Friday morning on the lots that were purchased through the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The project is made up of volunteers that build homes in communities across the world.

Now, they're partnering with Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County to build four new energy-efficient homes this year. The homes will not be free, but families who buy them won't have to pay interest on their mortgage.

"These are families [that] there's no way they can save money for a down payment to buy a house, and there's no way they could go to a traditional bank and get a traditional mortgage," said Jim Williams, Habitat for Humanity of St. Joe County's president and CEO. "Habitat is literally their only option. And so, when they realize that, it just gives them hope."

Friday's ground breaking was just a precursor to a special event this summer. Former President Carter, along with roughly 2,000 volunteers will be coming to St. Joseph County for a week in August, and they plan on building 21 homes.