Habitat for Humanity Helps Family Live American Dream

STEAD, Nev. - Dreams do come true for some low-income families struggling to make ends meet. Habitat for Humanity helped ease one family's cross-cultural transition in to America.

The Yembu family immigrated from Cameroon to the United States in 2009, but has only lived in Nevada fro a short period of time. With four kids, her mother and a low paying job, Jackie and her husband faced more struggles than an average family.

With the help from Habitat for Humanity, the Yembu family is now able to live the American dream.

Integrating into American society is difficult without the bare necessities.

"I think the biggest challenge was finding a home. A home for the kids, a home where you could actually call this is my house," Jackie Yembu said.

A small two-bedroom apartment for seven people just wouldn't do. Jackie contacted Habitat for Humanity and received a phone call she would never forget.

"Oh my God, we didn't believe it because so many people wishing they could have a home you know for their kids, for their families, and we were selected so we were really, really grateful to God," she said.

The Truckee Meadows Habitat for Humanity builds about two to five houses a year, giving those families new opportunities.

"Every family has to put in about five hundred hours of what we call sweat equity, which makes it so they are really a participant in their own home," Andrea Santos, Habitat for Humanity Public Relations and Marketing Director said.

Families are chosen based on income, family size and their time to build their own house.

"It helps to be able to be handy...this was my very first time of painting so now I'm getting everybody, oh i can paint you want help to paint your new house, Jackie's right here!" Yembu said.

Built from the ground up, Jackie's house was a year-long project that was complete in August.

"Oh my god it's way different now," Yembu said. "The kids, they have enough room to play and each of them got their own room and we got more than enough space so it's really comfortable compared to where we came from."

They're coming here to make a life for themselves and to work hard and become part of the American dream."

And part of the dream was to feel welcomed into American society.

"No matter where you come from, they're willing to talk with you, they want to listen to your story, they're willing to work with you no matter the situation, so it was really a blessing to know Habitat for Humanity," Yembu said.

Jack and her husband have steady jobs and all four of their children are in school.

"It's a hand up, not a hand out, but a hand up to our families," Santos said.


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