Pavel, Carmen, Tania (15), and Pavelito (9) lived in an extremely small two-bedroom unit in Jamul for 4 years before purchasing their Habitat home. Pavel emigrated from Cuba, and now works as a case manager helping refugees get the resources they need to get out of the welfare system and proudly stand on their own. Pavel has a Master’s degree and is working toward his PhD. Carmen is in school studying to be an educator of Spanish and Art. The family is financially responsible, paid off debt, and even saved several thousand dollars to prepare for homeownership.

Before purchasing their home in El Cajon,  the family dealt with seasonal wildfire, poisonous snakes, a landlord who did not address maintenance issues, and a windy, dark, dangerous one-way dirt road leading to their rental home. Pavelito slept in the hallway in between his sisters’ and parents’ bedrooms. He kept his toys in Mom and Dad’s room, but didn’t have anywhere to call his own. Pavel and Carmen dreamed of giving each of their children the best chance to be successful, contributing members of American society, and owning a home in El Cajon is helping them do just that.