The last year has presented some challenges for all of us to varying degrees. At Habitat for Humanity – DeKalb, we are in the business of building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. Last year was one for the most uncertain in our over 30-year history.
We kept the projects going with hard work, determination, and prayer. Today, we are so hopeful about what HFHD will bring to DeKalb County in 2021.
One of the reasons for our hopefulness is that we have extended an offer of a newly rehabilitated home to one of our hard-working partner families! This is possible due to our sponsors, construction team (many are volunteers themselves), active volunteer community, and DeKalb County.
The house was gutted. All new systems were installed to ensure value and safety. For example, there is a new roof, new bathrooms, new kitchen, and flooring. The home and partner family should be ready for move in soon!
The partner family is a hard-working, active family of five, soon to be six. Solomon and Selamawit have two daughters aged eight and six, one son aged four and one more son on the way in August! A busy family who has been in the United States for almost 6 years after leaving their home in Ethiopia.
Solomon reported in his application for home ownership that, “We came to America because we’ve dreamt about it since childhood and we won the Diversity Visa Lottery that gave us a chance to move to the U.S.”
Another part of the application process is a tour of the family’s current living conditions to determine need. Their current living conditions were not safe or a stable place to raise a young family.
The Family Selection Committee found that there were terrible maintenance issues. The family’s apartment is near a very busy highway and drug paraphernalia is frequently found amidst the trash that is left all around in the parking lot.
Last week, Executive Director, Sharon Steele, reflected that it was so nice to meet the family in person (socially distanced & masked of course) under much more uplifting circumstances.
She said there were lots of exclamations from the children as they walked through the house. Sharon overheard the youngest son saying, “I want a red room!”
However, future homeowner and stay-at-home mom, Selamawit, was quiet. Sharon was concerned that Selamawit did not like the house. Then Selamawit saw the backyard and broke out into a huge smile.
“I love it! The kids will have somewhere safe to play at last.”
A sigh of relief from both Sharon and Selamawit. There will be a stable new home with a safe place to play in the near future for a Habitat family partner. Hope for 2021 is in the air.
“Home ownership changes our children’s life extremely positively in such a way that our kids can enjoy the freedom of a playful environment. Owning our own home positively impacts us as a family and protects us from the increasing rental market.”-Solomon