The Evangelista-Rodriguez Family

Jorge Evangelista-Rodriguez and Leticia Duran-Rolon moved to the United States to seek better economic opportunities for their family. In some ways, they’ve found what they were looking for. Jorge has a good job in the steel manufacturing industry, while Leticia is able to stay home with their eight- and five-year-old sons. But along with the advantages, there have been challenges.

While Jorge has been in this country since 1985 and Leticia since 2004, an issue with Leticia’s migration status required her and their sons to return to Mexico in 2011. For six months she and Jorge found themselves living in separate countries, until February 2012, when Leticia and the boys were able to return to Oregon.

Though happy to be reunited, the family’s living conditions in Portland have presented another set of challenges. Their current home is a one-bedroom, meaning Leticia and Jorge share their bedroom with their two sons. Mold, leaky plumbing, and inadequate heat have been constant problems.

When they heard about Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program at a workshop at Lents Middle School, they were eager to apply and hopeful that the program would offer a solution to their housing problems. They applied in January 2013 and were overjoyed when they received the news that they’d been accepted into the program.

“Our way of living will take a change of 180 degrees. Knowing that it will be a property of our own will give us peace of mind and security,” Leticia said. In addition to the physical aspects—warmth and protection from winter damp and space for their children—Jorge and Leticia are most excited to have a heritage for their family and the knowledge that they’re making a very good investment in their family’s future.

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