The Hall Family

Yondella Hall is happy to call the Cully neighborhood in northeast Portland home. She loves that her community has lots of kids growing up in it, and that her neighbors look out for one another. But when the house Yondella purchased four years ago started having major structural issues, she was worried it would threaten the ability for her and her two kids to stay in the neighborhood they love.

“At first I could see bubbling in the living room ceiling and wall,” said Yondella. “And then water started leaking through. I came home every day worried that my roof might collapse.”

Yondella heard about Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East through her work as a Family Advocate at LifeWorks Northwest. When she shared her housing woes with a client, they suggested she check out Habitat’s Home Repair and Preservation Program. She soon learned that the leak in her living room was much more complicated than she initially thought.

“I live in an older home, but I had no idea what this leak really entailed until Habitat came out,” said Yondella. “It wasn’t just the roof; it was the gutters and structural problems with the back porch. It was all these things I had no idea about. Habitat educated me not only on the repairs, but on the health issues too. I didn’t know how leaking and standing water could affect my health.”

Through Habitat’s 0%-interest loan, Yondella was able to afford these hefty repairs, which included a new roof, gutter system, and grading of her yard to mitigate the flooding around her porch and foundation when it rained. Habitat also linked Yondella up with Verde, an organization focused on building environmental wealth in communities. Through the City of Portland Community Watershed Stewardship grants, Verde installed a rain garden in her backyard, which directs runoff from her roof and yard to sustain a beautiful and functional native plant garden.

“I used to get nervous when the rain came because I knew it would mean leaking and flooding. Now, I get excited because I get to watch my rain garden grow.”

Yondella is looking forward to many more years living in her home and in the Cully neighborhood. “I love feeling connected to my community. Habitat not only helped me repair my home, but it made me feel like a bigger part of the community.”