The Reda-Maru Family

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Gedamu Reda and Kidist Maru have moved twice in the past five years and currently live with their one-year-old daughter in a small, two-bedroom apartment in southeast Portland. Kidist’s mother, Tirunsh, also lives with them and helps take care of the baby while both parents are at work. With another baby on the way, the family realizes that their current living situation will be too small for a family of five. Gedamu and Kidist have wanted to own a home, but thought that they couldn’t, since they would never be able to afford a traditional bank loan, even though they both work full-time.

Several health and safety concerns also fuel the family’s dream of being able to move into a new home. Most of the rooms in their apartment have mold problems. Crime is a constant nuisance, especially since their front door has a bad lock that doesn’t keep the family secure. Their neighbors leave litter and debris around the grounds of the building and complain that Kidist and Gedamu’s baby makes too much noise. In addition, a neighborhood cat has chosen the families’ doorstep as the correct location to leave rodents.

Kidist heard about Habitat from a friend who knew that the family was frustrated and unhappy with their living situation. Kidist applied to the program with the hopes that her family would have the chance to live in a simple, decent home of their own.

“We learned about how Habitat gives people the opportunity to own your house and how they help families,” Kidist said. “We are excited to be homeowners and have neighbors we can trust.”

Kidist and Gedamu imagine their new home being a place where their children can live in a positive environment and where Tirunsh can watch her grandchildren grow.

“We are glad to have a brighter future and a safe and clean place for our children to play,” Kidist said. “Our home will be a place where we’re not afraid to play in our yard and where neighbors support each other.”

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