Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity continues investment in MLK Jr. Park neighborhood

From refugee camps to their own home in Des Moines

Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity continues investment in MLK Jr. Park neighborhood

This spring more than 550 volunteers worked alongside Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity (GDM Habitat) and homebuyer families to turn a strip of land on East 17th Street into five new homes. The walls to the houses were raised at the beginning of May, and by the end of October, five hardworking families will be able to purchase a safe, affordable home of their own.

For these five families, homeownership is the foundation that they’ll build their lives upon.  One of the family members purchasing a home on East 17th Street is Yadap.  For Yadap & Dhan, the opportunity to purchase a house through Habitat for Humanity’s affordable Homeownership Program means a chance for stability. No more will they have to worry about the constant change of neighbors in their apartment complex nor will they have to plan their next move.

As former refugees, this opportunity for stability is extremely precious. Both Yadap and Dhan were born in Bhutan but political and religious persecution in their country forced them to flee their homes. For the next 18 years, Yadap and Dhan lived in a refugee camp in Nepal before resettling here in the United States. Today, both Yadap and Dhan are proud US citizens; Yadap enjoys his job at Methodist Hospital and Dhan stays home to care for their sons Ujal (4) and Udayan (2). Yadap recently expressed his excitement to become a homeowner by saying, “this will be our dream house. We will be living there forever.” 

This blitz build reaffirms GDM Habitat’s commitment to investing in the revitalization of MLK Jr. Park neighborhood and Viva East Bank.  In addition to the home construction Habitat has undertaken in the neighborhood they have also completed more than 100 Rock the Block® projects; helping families stay in their homes for years to come. 

In 2015, GDM Habitat will serve more than 160 families through homeownership opportunities and homeowner-occupied repairs with Rock the Block®. Polk County Housing Trust Fund is one of the supporters that makes it possible for GDM Habitat to meet affordable homeownership needs and revitalize neighborhoods.