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Home ownership turns suffering into triumph for two Wake families

Posted June 10, 2015

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— Home ownership is no longer a dream for El Mahjoub Agra, his wife and two children.

“It means a lot. It means that you have a place now,” said Agra, who is from Morocco. “you have a roof now.

The Agras were one of two families that moved into Wake Habitat for Humanity homes in Raleigh’s Augusta Landings neighborhood on Wednesday. The organization, which has built 90 homes in the subdivision, brings volunteers and home recipients together to build the residences.

The Agras have spent more than 300 "sweat equity" hours on their home.

For Flora Mohammed, who spent more than 200 hours on her home, her family is no longer homeless. The South Sudan native was left on her own after her husband abandoned her and their children.

“She went through a lot from shelter to shelter, through a lot of suffering with the kids, and she is just blessed to have this house that she felt like everything came to a good conclusion,” said Josephine Labib, Mohammed’s friend and interpreter.

Mohammed turned to the Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network, which helps homeless families, and the New Lease on Life program, which gets homeless families into affordable rental properties.

“They are able to get back into housing and have that reduce rent with those quarterly increases where they're able to save money as well as learn how to pay that rent,” said Kim Lawyer with New Lease on Life.

For Mohammed, words could not describe her joy in receiving a second chance.

“The first time she walked in, I remember, she was crying,” Labib said.


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