Berhanu & Hana
Berhanu Damtew and Hana Abraha came to the U.S. from Ethiopia at different times and with different dreams. Half a world away from their home, they met in 2015 in church and fell in love with each other and with Austin. Berhanu and Hana even share a fondness for Austin’s hot weather, comparing it to their native country.
The couple has two small daughters, and they realized that their current housing situation is not healthy or safe for their growing family.
Both Berhanu and Hana were small-business owners in Ethiopia, and they have continued to work hard in the U.S., Hana as a logistics/customer service specialist and Berhanu as a self-employed taxi driver. However, they have found the high cost of living in Austin, especially the cost of decent housing, to be out of reach for their young family. They have been living in a very small apartment for several years, with smokers in close proximity and no safe area for children to play.
The family first heard about Habitat when Hana saw a news story and looked it up online. They began working with our Client Services team and enjoyed the “sweat equity” experience investing in their home, including working on the construction site and at the ReStore. Hana particularly appreciated the feeling of community when she volunteered, working with people who start as strangers but “weave together” to help her family and others, reminding her of home and the way she grew up.
Their house will be safer and healthier for their family: they won’t be around smoking and drinking; they’ll have access to fresh air; and the kids will have room to grow and play. The home will also be environmentally friendly, helping the family limit utility costs and build assets for the future.
Hana, who was inspired to become a social worker after her Habitat experience, will be able to work and study in a home that is peaceful and all their own. The family is grateful for the support of our House That Tech Built team and excited to start their new life! As Berhanu said, “It touched my heart that people work here and make these donations – it just touched my heart that people care.”
Hana and Berhanu moved into their Scenic Point home in September of 2019.