On a sunny May 23rd in Richmond, five families officially received the keys to their new homes in a celebration that brought together the community. Volunteers, donors and staff were all on hand to recognize this huge milestone for Habitat Greater Vancouver and salute the achievement of building homes together!
Meet our new Family Partners:
Kelley Raines and her 16-year old son, Eden, have been in search of a safe and stable home for many months. Health struggles along with housing insecurity meant the family of two have been bunking with various friends and family, moving every few months as a result – Kelley has continued to fulfil her motherly duties, including driving Eden to his school in Burnaby, throughout this chaotic time. Their new Habitat home will finally give Kelley and Eden the embracing home environment they need to focus on building their futures.
A family of five, The Rai’s have waited anxiously for move-in day at HFHGV’s Richmond Build, marking the end of a tumultuous period that resulted in over 11 relocations since 2000. Sharon and Jeff Rai, along with their children James (26), Caleb (19), and Ruth (17), will move into their first ever stable place to call home, where they’ll resume building their lives and establishing a sense of community without further interruption.
Gamachu, his wife Dureti, and their three young children – Dursa (6), Nanati (4), and Ifnan (23 months) – are immigrants to Canada from Ethiopia. Gamachu is no stranger to the HFHGV family, volunteering 4-5 hours of his time weekly – in addition to his place of full-time employment – to help out at the Vancouver ReStore, as well as working alongside the community on the Habitat build-site, now the Taha-Mohamed’s new place to call home. They are excited to have their own bedroom and their children will now also have their own space to thrive.
Shailesh and Mamta are parents to Joshua (8), Grace (6), and Bliss (4). After being approved as a Partner Family in 2015, the Misquitta’s waited patiently for the completion of the homes, meanwhile living in a simple, one-bedroom basement suite that their family budget could afford. Despite having completed their “sweat equity” years ago, they continued to volunteer for Habitat at the Vancouver ReStore. Shailesh is looking forward to having a home in which he and his wife will no longer need to share a room with their children – and being a chef, is eager to have a space to host and dine with friends and family.
Single mother, Rowena and her son, Justin (9), are excited to start a new life where both son and mother have a bedroom of their own – their current one-bedroom apartment, located downtown, is a crowded, unhealthy space and not at all conducive to having people over. Soon, Justin will have the option to play outside with his friends, in safety, after school, which happens to be conveniently located next door. Their new home will offer the family of two a life-altering experience, giving Rowena peace of mind knowing that her son will grow up in a warm community environment that all parents can only dream of for their children.
Thank you to all the hundreds of volunteers, donors large and small who have made these families’ dreams of safe, decent, affordable housing a reality for generations to come.