After years of escaping war in their homeland of Burundi and living in refugee camps in Congo and Zambia, Ivette Nduwimana and Pascal Moboko, along with their three children, finally made it to the U.S. in 2004.
“In refugee camps, we slept outside for two months, had no good food, but we did learn a new language and we’re excited to come to the U.S.,” said Pascal.
While they are grateful for the opportunities they have received in the U.S., they are facing new challenges. Their housing in east Portland has mold, leaky plumbing, and other health issues that are not safe for their children. While they would like to find a better housing, they are not able to afford higher rent, and buying a home is not possible through traditional means. But the Nduwimana/Moboko family know all about perseverance and they were determined to find a better living situation.
"We learned about Habitat from Africa House (IRCO) in Portland and they told us the program could help low-income families buy their own home," said Pascal.
When they were accepted into the Habitat program, they were overjoyed. The family now envisions a new, stable place for their kids to grow and thrive. They are working hard building on site and contributing to the community.
"Being in our own home will bring stability you don’t get from renting. We can take responsibility for our neighborhood, help others and save money," said Pascal.
Their home, located at the Orchard’s site in the Gateway neighborhood, is being sponsored by The Standard. They will be moving in this fall and look forward to their new adventures in their safe and affordable home.
If you’ve been out to Habitat’s 45-home build site at SE 171st and Division Street, you have seen the transformation of the vacant parcel these past 12 months. Now that the first 22 homes are built and homeowners are moving in, staff and volunteers will soon start work on an 8,000 square foot lot at the end of the cul-de-sac on SE 171st Avenue.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Nike Employee Grant Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, this open lot will be transformed into an open green space, raised garden beds and pathway lined with fruit trees. The pathway will lead out of the subdivision’s north end and onto quiet side streets, encouraging kids to utilize the pathway to get to school and the park.
More information about the Nike Employee Grant Fund of OCF is available here.
About the Garden BedsHomeowners are excited to have a place to grow their own food and are looking forward to planting their beds in the next few months. Each family will have their own raised garden bed that collects rainwater in an enclosed tank for reuse, eliminating the need for additional water supply. Water is collected during the rainy months and easily accessed year-round by a small hand pump installed on the side of the garden bed. The raised height and use of space means beds will be easily accessible, ensuring that all family members are able to participate in growing nutrient-rich food.
With the remaining 16 homes of Phase I at SE 171st and Division Street less than a month away from being complete, Habitat is starting excavation and foundations on more homes that will kickoff Phase II of this 45-home neighborhood. Help us celebrate this accomplishment and give thanks to our dedicated volunteers, donors and sponsors. Join us at the build site on April 6, when 16 families achieve their dream of homeownership and receive the keys to their own home!
“This is going to be a life changing day for a lot of families,” said Reianna DaRosa, Homeownership Programs Coordinator. “A lot of families don’t fully feel like their dream of homeownership is going to come true until all the tools have been cleared out and they get handed the keys. Imagine this feeling happening 16 times!”
Habitat would like to give a heartfelt thank you to all of our donors and volunteers for their support and hard work in 2012. So many of you generously shared your time and hard earned money to help Habitat build simple, healthy, affordable homes for hardworking families in our community.
As this new year begins, Habitat is celebrating its completion of A World of Hope: It Starts at Home. This $12 million fundraising campaign, launched a little more than 12 months ago, had the bold goal of buying land to support our next five years of building and increasing our homebuilding by 50%. These were huge ambitions, but our community stepped up. Habitat received some of the largest gifts in our history and more individual gifts than ever before. Even in the midst of “The Great Recession,” supporters gave what they could, some making sacrifices to give more than in years prior. Habitat is so grateful for the many contributors that made A World of Hope: It Starts at Home a success.
Habitat put these funds right to work, purchasing land in our neighborhoods that have the greatest need for homeownership, creating stability that will have a ripple effect on the whole community. Because of A World of Hope: It Starts at Home fundraising campaign, we now have land in place to build homes for 150 local families. But our work is not done. The need for affordable housing is greater than ever before. Hundreds of kids in our community are still forced to sleep in substandard, overcrowded housing, as it is all their parents can afford. Hundreds of local kids are still moving from school to school, as their parents chase affordable rent. We must continue mobilizing our community to address the housing crisis in the Portland area. We invite everyone to join Habitat as we work towards building the 150 homes on the purchased land, and create a city that is a great place for all our neighbors.
We wish you a joy filled year ahead and thank you again for your generosity that will continue to bless families for years to come!
Glenn Waller was a man who valued giving back to the community. So it made sense that he left his daughter, Mary Waller Bullard, and two sons individual charitable trust accounts when he passed away, wanting his children to have the opportunity to give back to the community, too. Mary thought hard about what she wanted to do with her account, determined to do something that represented her father’s values, instead of just writing a check to an organization.
“I wanted to do something that fully embodied what my dad stood for, that would honor his memory, something that I know he would be proud of,” said Mary. “I realized that a lot of what I have in my life was because of him, and I wanted to honor him, passing it along.
In 2005 Mary and her husband were in the market to buy their first home. However, the market was hot, making even fixers hard to afford. Glenn suggested they buy a fixer and in turn he would help them with the rehab, allowing his daughter and son in-law to experience the dream of homeownership. Mary, her husband and father spent six months rehabbing the house, with Glenn guiding and teaching them skills along the way. It turned out to be a good investment and a couple years later Mary and her husband decided to take the skills her father had taught them and rehab housing for investment purposes.
So when Mary received the trust, it made sense to reach out to Habitat and use the funds and her skills learned from her father to rehab a home for a local family in need.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the Mahmood family, who will be purchasing the home,” said Mary. “They are a really sweet family, and the children who are young adults are really eager. I admire them for their dedication to their parents.”
To Mary, home is a refuge, a place where you can relax, enjoy your family and friends and make memories. And thanks to her generosity and values instilled by her father, now another family will have the chance to own a safe and healthy home.
“I hope the Mahmood’s feel welcomed by the community, and that it will provide long-term stability and really feel like home.”
It takes a special kind of person to make plans for the benefit of unknown people in the unknowable future, and the Habitat for Humanity Legacy Society was designed to recognize these forward-thinking friends. For more information on how you can leave a legacy with Habitat for Humanity contact Erika Read at 503.287.9529 x16.
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Director of Development