The Gay Family

In 2009, Paw Gay got the chance of a lifetime, a chance to move her family to America after fleeing civil war in her home country of Myanmar. The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) became an important resource to her in Portland, helping her and her two children become acclimated to their new home.

Paw works full time as a housekeeper at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland, and likes being able to work to provide for her kids.  The only problem is she simply doesn’t make enough for a safe, stable home, so she has been forced to move again and again chasing affordable rent.

“We have moved many times since coming to America,” said Paw.  “Three times in the past five years.”

Their current apartment has leaky plumbing and a rodent infestation.

Paw heard about Habitat through the IRCO and applied as soon as an application round opened up.  She was overjoyed when she heard she was accepted into the program.

“The future for my children will now be safe.  They won’t need to change their schools, which is good because they enjoy their schools and their friends there.”