Alexander and his wife Nadiia lived in Moldova, where Alexander worked hard to provide for his wife and their 10 children. In 2009, they were able to come to the U.S. with refugee status. It has taken them some time to adjust to their new style of life, especially Alex and Nadiia who lived the majority of their adult lives in Moldova.
The family lived in Ohio for a short time and it was difficult for them; the weather was a challenge, and the area in which they lived was less diverse than what they were looking for. They moved to Seattle after visiting family and friends living in the area. They really liked Washington State, and thought it would be a nice place to raise their family. The younger children – Svetlana, Inna, Daira, and Alex- lived with their parents in an apartment in Federal Way. Space was tight in their apartment and the family had no concrete plans in place to become homeowners. Alexander was depressed, work was scarce and the family was considering going back to Moldova. Thus they were very excited to learn about Habitat for Humanity’s home ownership program.
Once selected, Nadiia and Alexander worked diligently alongside community volunteers and Habitat staff to build a home for themselves and their children. While volunteering with Habitat, they continued to be actively involved in their church community, helping with bake sales, teaching Sunday School classes, and doing church repairs (Alex spent one whole day repairing the church’s roof). Alexander says, “We have always taught our children to give back to the community in big and small ways.”
Since their participation in Habitat’s home ownership program, Alexander and Nadiia have been able to pay for their older children’s college tuition after saving more money than they were able too while renting. Their younger children are able to concentrate on school better than before and the family’s relationship with their neighbors have deepened. Nadiia has a garden where she plants flowers and vegetables to share with their neighbors. “We have more relationships now, we invite them to our home or we have a potluck… Habitat for Humanity homeowner’s program has given me, and my husband Alexander, and my family, hope and optimism for a better future. Habitat has shown us that everything is possible. We are never alone in our struggles as long as we keep faith and hope.”