Lionso, his wife Elidia, and their two children Ivan (16) and Lionso (24) have lived in their current apartment in Pauma Valley for the past two years. Calling it an apartment is a stretch – it is more of a structure that the family has done their best to turn into a livable space. The boys share a sleeping space, and the parents share a sleeping space that doubles as a kitchen. The family keeps their home very clean, but the structure allows cockroaches, rats and mice into their living space. Their landlord does not address these issues. The septic tank for the apartment complex is emptied twice per year and instead of taking the refuse away, the tank is emptied in a ditch near the home. The kids in the neighborhood are often sick, likely as a result of exposure to the waste. In addition, the neighbors often have drunken parties late into the night.
Lionso and Elidia are very hard workers and have steady jobs. They both have worked as cleaners at Harrah’s Resort for the past five years. Lionso also works as a maintenance man at Rancho Point Loma Farm. Ivan is a sophomore in high school and Lionso is a junior studying Psychology at Cal State San Marcos.
Owning a home through Habitat will change the future of the family. They will have a stable, safe, healthy roof over their head where they can thrive. They have already begun their sweat equity hours and are looking forward to their new life.