Lam and Rebecca and their five children – Nyakoach, Nyaduop, Nyabel, Ruay, and Nyakuma –  have lived in their current apartment for the past 12 years.  They moved from Sudan in 1994 to provide their children with a better life and more opportunities.  The apartment is extremely old and maintenance concerns go unaddressed for weeks at a time.  Recently it took the maintenance staff four weeks to repair the family’s second toilet.  This resulted in all seven family members using one bathroom for almost a month.  Though the family is extremely neat and clean, rat holes were visible throughout the apartment.  Many of the electrical outlets are exposed.  There are cracks throughout the apartment which may point to foundational shifting.  Several of the windows are not able to be closed.  The heater emits a gas smell and does not work.  This combined with the open windows causes the family to be quite cold during the winter.

Additionally, the family does not feel comfortable with their children playing outside.  Gangs and drug dealers are prevalent throughout the neighborhood.  There is no place for the children to play.  There are also not any parks nearby, only cemeteries.  Lam often drives his children to church or parks that are far away from their neighborhood.  The family’s car has been stolen several times, as well as the children’s bicycles and scooters.

Lam and Rebecca have longed to live in a safer environment; a place where their children can feel free to play outside.  Also, because their apartment is so small, the family has never been able to enjoy a meal together at the diner table.  Purchasing a home through Habitat offers the promise of additional space where their children can thrive and they can share the family basics of enjoying a meal together.  It also offers the chance for each child to have a quiet place to study.  Lam and Rebecca desire each of their children to attend college.