The Beng/Mou Family
With constantly rising rent and high utility expenses, Emanuel Beng and Abuk Mou work diligently to support their five children. Emanuel is a custodian at a building in downtown Portland and Abuk works for a uniform production company. Even though both of them work full-time, it has been difficult for them to make ends meet. The family has rented a house in southeast Portland for the past four years.
Emanuel is mostly concerned about his children’s safety. Crime is affecting how the family lives in their home and preventing the children from playing outside. Emanuel and Abuk dreamed of owning a home in a community that is safe and will provide them with stability.
They found out about Habitat’s homeownership opportunities through a friend and decided to apply. After they applied, the Beng family hoped and prayed that they would be accepted into the program. Emanuel and Abuk we overjoyed when they received their acceptance call.
“We have been praying for this for so long,” said Emanuel. “I know that when we move into our own home, my children will have a safe place to live and they will grow up happy and healthy.”
The Beng’s oldest daughter, Ayak, attends the University of Oregon and is concentrating on international studies. Emanuel and Abuk can frequently be seen donning green and yellow gear at the Portland ReStore, where they have been earning their 500 hours of sweat equity. Their work ethic and humor have endeared them to the staff and customers.
“Emanuel and Abuk have a presence in the store that makes everyone smile,” said ReStore Volunteer Coordinator Malia Tam Sing. “They genuinely love being a part of the Habitat program and helping out. I can’t wait to see them move into their own home!”