SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Construction is well underway on the structure to replace the Friendship House in Shreveport's Highland neighborhood.
There are five Friendship Houses in Shreveport-Bossier City.
The first went up 20 years ago in Highland.
Sandra Simpson has been there ever since.
And her Friendship House's needs have outgrown its space.
More than 700 children have passed through its doors.
Now with every swing of a hammer, Simpson is one step closer to moving into a new Friendship House.
"I'm so excited, I'm jiggling."
Friendship Houses are safe havens where youths can go for after-school educational programs.
"We've been talking about this for so many years now, and I have learned to be patient and wait," Simpson said.
"But now that it's starting to come together and getting toward the end, the excitement level is ... . I'm very excited."
The new house is going up just blocks from her current Friendship House.
Curtis Loftin is working hard to get it perfect and ready for Simpson and her youths.
"It's amazing to be blessed to be able to do this day in, day out and see how you can change a community or change individuals," he said.
Simpson said: "This thing is three-dimensional; it's going to be here."
The project would not be possible without the help of others, strangers, donating to Community Renewal International, a Shreveport-based social services organization, Simpson said.
"It has taken a lot of people to make this happen. And I wish I could look each and every one of them in the face and tell them thank you."
The builders expect construction to be complete so the house will be open in time for the upcoming school year.