Daniel and Manuela have lived in their current rental unit for the past eight years. The family is very close, but it gets very cramped in the two-bedroom apartment they all share. Mom Manuela and Dad Daniel have a room, Melissa (18) and Sofia (10) share a room – and sleep in the same bed – and twins Daniel and Andres (15) sleep on sofas in the living room, with no personal space to speak of. Every morning, the family juggles the use of one bathroom in order to get ready for school and work. The family longs for each child to be able to sleep in their own bed. There is gang activity in the neighborhood, and the parents fear for the children’s safety. The apartment has mold issues that go unaddressed by the landlord. Daniel and Manuela have taken care of many maintenance issues, including installing security doors, and purchasing a working stove and refrigerator.

Daniel and Manuela work very hard to provide for their family. Daniel has worked at a window coverings company for 15 years, and Manuela is a hospital housekeeper. Melissa recently completed a prestigious paid summer internship at Scripps Hospital, where she had the opportunity to work with doctors and nurses and realized that she wants to pursue an education and career in the medical field when she graduates from high school next year.

The family is doing everything right – Habitat will offer them a hand-up and a path to a safe, healthy, decent, affordable home where the family can thrive.