Lula currently lives with her 65-year old mother, Worknesh and 10-year old son, Mussab in her sister’s apartment. Lula and her son share the bedroom, and her mother sleeps in the living room. Income constraints prevent them from being able to afford a larger apartment.
Lula came to United States 16 years ago as an Ethiopian immigrant seeking asylum from the country’s harsh politics, and gained her U.S. Citizenship in 2011. Lula is a single parent who works as Certified Animal Care Tech with the Yerkes Primate Center at Emory University. Prior to this job, she worked as a retail associate with J.C. Penney.
Although she has been an American Citizen for over 5 years, Lula faced adversities being a single mother in a new country. Her living conditions are not ideal; Lula, her son and her mother all share a 2-bedroom apartment with Lula’s sister, in an unsafe neighborhood. Every month residents get notification from the apartment leasing office about crimes that occurred in the neighborhood during the month.
Lula is working hard to establish a decent, affordable home for her family – especially so her son and mother can live under more suitable arrangements. Having a home would be a benefit for the family especially with a young teenage son. Her son Mussab is 11 years old he enjoys playing basketball and soccer. He is really excited about having 1 thing her never had – his own room.
This is Lula’s second attempt to own a Habitat house. For many years she was in a relatively lower paying, part-time job in retail, and in 2011 she did not qualify for the program. Lula didn’t give up. In 2014 with a better paying job, she came back for a second chance and this time was chosen to get a Habitat home.
Lula proclaimed: “I am really truly blessed and humbled to be accepted by Habitat for Humanity. I felt Habitat has been a father figure who guided me gently through this housing process. I can’t thank enough all the Habitat donors, crews, and volunteers that are making this possible.”
Lula is very excited and joyful to see her home transformed, and she also can’t wait to see the look on her mother’s face when she sees the house for the first time; her son is already imagining how to decorate his room.