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Habitat for Humanity Reveals New Home to Family — With a Surprise
By Lynette Carrington
Months of hard work orchestrated by hundreds of volunteers came to fruition last month when a refugee family from Somalia and Kenya, the Awdahirs, were able to see their new home, which was built by Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona and sponsored by Pima Medical Institute. The home, located in Central Mesa, was dedicated during a ceremony that was attended by dozens.
During the home reveal, the Awdahir family learned that Pima Medical Institute had also furnished the home for the family, which is not a typical scenario for a Habitat for Humanity home, but the Institute’s employees were so touched when it learned about the family that it wanted to help them further.
The family includes father Ahmed Awdahir, mother Fatuma Bare and their children Zakaria (age 6), Zuhayr (age 5), Yunis (age 4), Yusra (age3), Yunis Yusuf (age 2) and Zuheyla (age 3 months). They struggled living in a small apartment while Ahmed looked for a home, but then Ahmed and Fatuma heard about Habitat for Humanity’s program and applied for a no-interest home loan.
“We have a family selection committee and a family service team,” said Dusty Parsons, director of marketing and communications for Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. “Families apply online or by phone, and then they go through an entire process with our family selection committee.”
Families have three criteria that must be met in order to be considered for a home: a need for affordable housing, the ability to pay back a no-interest loan, and the willingness to put in 400 hours of sweat equity into the home build.
Hundreds of volunteers put in hundreds of hours to build the four-bedroom, two-bath home. Pima Medical Institute’s volunteers also helped with the build of the house which took several months.
This was Pima Medical’s first home build. Roger Neuhaus is the chief development officer for Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona, and his wife works for Pima Medical Institute, which led them to do a home build in the Mesa area.
Pima Medical Institute board chairman Richard Luebke’s son, Tim Luebke is an interior designer based in the Denver area and he flew to the Valley to work on the interior design for the Awdahir’s new home. Some of the vendors that donated supplies and materials for the home build include Valspar, Hunter Douglas, Snyder Electric, Fry’s Food Stores and Whirlpool.
“Everything that Habitat for Humanity does is driven by volunteers,” said Neuhaus. “Here in the Valley we have more than 10,000 volunteers per year that get involved in some aspect of what we do.”
The morning home unveiling included a volunteer recognition program, a prayer and dedication for the home and a continental breakfast for gathered guests.