How Attain Housing helped a family of five stay together and thrive together
“That’s fantastic, man,” Greg McLeod, our Programs Services Manager, said with a grin into the phone. “I am so happy for you.” Dawit (pictured above with his daughter Eleni) and his family had just found a permanent home.
We first introduced you to Dawit and his family in our most recent client family video, which you can view on our YouTube account and on AttainHousing.org. We wanted to give our donors and supporters an update on the family now that they’ve successfully moved on from our housing program.
To appreciate the full significance of that achievement, you have to go back about 10 years earlier to when Dawit first came to America from Ethiopia with the same hopes as millions of other immigrants before him: a desire to provide a better life for their families.
Dawit planned to work for several years to save up his money, and then have his wife, Abeba, and two daughters join him in America. Dawit found jobs doing industrial cleaning work, but after several years of exposure to harsh chemicals, he started experiencing major respiratory issues and couldn’t work as often as he needed to support himself, let alone save up for his family.
Despite an uncertain future in America, the family reunited with Dawit to help him recover from his health problems. But without steady housing, they ended up living at two different Mary’s Place shelter locations over the course of eight months, sharing large rooms with other families with nothing but canvas curtains as dividers.
This is where Attain Housing came into the picture. After getting onto the King County Coordinated Entry for All waiting list, Dawit and Abeba’s family came to us as a referral for our transitional housing program. Dawit and Abeba made it very clear with Greg, their Case Manager, how important their daughters’ education was to them. Eleni and her sister settled into the Bellevue School District and over the course of the next two years began to truly thrive, grow, and become comfortable in their new city and home.
Greg worked with the family to help them set their goals. They wanted to improve their English, increase their income, and stabilize all health issues. Greg helped Abeba enroll in an ESL class and her English has improved dramatically. Greg worked with Dawit and Abeba on resume building and Abeba landed a job working in the kitchen at a local restaurant. This allowed Dawit, still dealing with asthma-related respiratory issues, to work in a more part-time capacity as a delivery driver so as to not put his health at further risk. Recently, Abeba was able to finally see a specialist to address some long-running health issues of her own.
As the family approached the end of their two-year stay in Attain’s program, Greg assisted them with successfully applying for a Section 8 voucher with King County Public Housing. The family recently moved out of our housing and into their new apartment that is located within Bellevue School District, ensuring that the kids could stay in their current schools.
Dawit and Abeba’s family are a shining example of the life-changing power that exists in the gifts of our donors as applied through our transitional housing and case management services. Your gifts make all the difference in the world to the families we serve!