The Hamza family -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

The Hamza family


Until they move into their new Habitat house, this family of four males shares one room in a friend’s house.

‘This is the best’

A room no larger than a small office houses four mats, four pillows and a TV on a stand. Hamza, his father, Ahmed, and two younger brothers share these four walls, which contain all of their possessions.

“It’s a room to sleep,” Hamza said.

When Ahmed moved his boys to Minneapolis in 2007, they lived in a one-bedroom apartment provided through public housing. Unfortunately, the program was available to the family for only two years. In 2009, a friend of the family invited them to move in, though they’d have to share a single bedroom.

Hamza’s childhood friend, a Habitat homeowner himself, mentioned the idea of applying to partner with Twin Cities Habitat. Now with only two homeowner classes left and more than 300 sweat-equity volunteer hours finished, Hamza and his family are only a few months away from being the proud owners of a four-bedroom house.

“I can’t describe my feelings when I heard we were getting a home,” Hamza said. When asked if they were each looking forward to their own room, all four men enthusiastically shook their heads “yes” in unison.

“Growing up in Ethiopia, we were always told American life is the best,” Hamza said. “Since we moved here, life has been very busy with work and school. But when we qualified for a Habitat house, it was like, ‘Wow, this is the best.’”

The family is looking forward to neighborhood parks and playing soccer, their favorite pastime. They’re also excited to join the Muslim community in North Minneapolis, and have already found a mosque they are interested in joining.

“Habitat has already taught me so much,” Hamza said. “It’s a great charity, a great community. We feel a part of that community, and soon, we’ll be part of a new neighborhood, thanks to Habitat.”