"It still feels like a dream"
“It still feels like a dream” Mohammad tells us after he and his family have been living in their Habitat home for almost a year. He and his wife Latifa purchased their home last December and moved their family of six in just before the holidays. Their house was built to be fully accessible for their son Ali, who is confined to a wheelchair.
“Ali has improved 100%,” Mohammad explains. “He is more comfortable in this home because we can control the temperature, and he can watch his sisters play outside from his big bedroom window. He is happier, calmer, and sleeping better.”
Mohammad himself, seems more relaxed and happier too. The burden of constantly worrying about his son seems to be lifted.
Now that they have the proper equipment for Ali (a lift was installed to move him from his bed to a large walk-in shower which now holds a bathing bed, donated through the Tender Wishes Foundation) and they are able to have a nurse in twice a week for a few hours to help bathe him. This could not happen when they were living in their apartment because they didn’t have the accessibility equipment to assist.
He and Latifa and their four children used to live in a two bedroom apartment, on the second floor, where the elevator would breakdown regularly. Mohammad would have to carry his then 12 year old son and his heavy wheelchair down flights of stairs to get him to the ground floor. Ali would also get sick a lot because of the fluctuating temperatures in their apartment, which they couldn’t control.
The girls are happier too. Their two daughters no longer have to share a bedroom with their brother and sleep on a mat on the floor. They have their own bedroom – with real beds – something many of us take for granted. The girls really enjoy playing outside in their own backyard, which they couldn’t do before when they lived in the apartment.
During their Habitat home build Latifa gave birth to their fourth child, a baby girl, who will grow up in their Habitat home not ever to have experienced the living conditions her siblings did.
Having a safe, decent and affordable home has been transformational for this family. Mohammand and Latifa have taken such pride in being homeowners, from caring for their home to planting a vegetable garden this summer. You can see it from the smiles on their faces, and knowing their children will thrive as they grow up in their new home.