Smile Politely

An accessible home for a local family

Yesterday, Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County dedicated its 107th house since 1992. The latest beneficiaries are the Barmaki Family, originally from Morocco. They learned of Habitat’s work through the Interfaith build in 2016, and decided to apply for a home, as the apartment they were living in was not accessible for their oldest daughter, who is unable to walk, and their space did not accommodate her wheelchair. From Jaoaud Barmaki, “This is a dream come true for our family. An opportunity to own our own home and become a part of a neighborhood is very exciting to us. We are so grateful to Habitat and we can’t wait to become homeowners.” You can read their full bio here.

There’s quite a process that Habitat families go through before they get to this moment, they are not just handed a free home. They have to be able to demonstrate a need for a new home, and they also have to have a down payment, have steady income, and be able to afford mortgage payments. Then, the family is intensely involved in the home building process, what Habitat refers to as “sweat equity.” They help build, volunteer for ReStore, work on other build sites, and more. You can read more about the home application process here.

Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County Community Development Director Kim Gollings joined Imam Sawadogo Ousmame of Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center and the Barmaki family in celebrating the momentous occasion.

Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County will dedicate their 108th home March 6th.

Photos by Melinda Edwards

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