Bouchra has moved 13 times since coming to the United States in 2007. Stability means everything to her and her family. If she and her husband, Hamid, hadn’t been accepted to Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity, they would be facing another potential temporary move.
This family of five, one being Bouchra’s elderly mother, is currently living in a third floor, two-bedroom apartment. When Hamid returns home from work late at night, he wants to unwind and watch television. However, TV is not an option since either his ten-year-old stepson or his mother-in-law are asleep in the living room. They rotate based on who needs more sleep that night.
Rent continues to rise each year, so thinking of upgrading to a three-bedroom is out of the question. And lack of space prevents them from downsizing. Furthermore, Bouchra’s mother, Mina, is beginning to have difficulty climbing the three flights of stairs each day, and the apartment complex they live in does not permit lateral moves. In order to get a first-floor apartment, they have to downgrade or upgrade. Or they have to move elsewhere.
Hamid and Bouchra were accepted into the Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity homeownership program this past December. When asked what the waiting process was like, Bouchra said, “That was the most challenging process I’ve ever had. I prayed every single day. I sweat a lot. Every time. I’d say, may God give me the opportunity. I’d hope and pray that we’d be one of the candidates to be accepted.”
They are looking forward to the entire construction process, including working alongside other future homeowners and volunteers. They also know that this means, no more moving. Mina will be comfortably on one floor and there will be enough bedrooms that no one has to sleep in the living room any longer. Additionally, this family will be able to make financial plans beyond tomorrow. Hamid and Bouchra are both in school, so this move into their own home will financially provide the means to graduate, find higher paying jobs, and to save for their children’s college education.
“Following my dreams: a better life, a nice house, and a nice family. That’s all that matters,” said Hamid. “America is the land of opportunities. You have a lot of help. You also have a lot you have to do. If you work hard, you get what you want. I am excited. We’re ready to be involved and get everything done. I’m ready for the backyard!”