Gebi has been trying to find more space for his wife, Jaware and their three children for quite some time. The family of five lives in a two-bedroom apartment adjacent to the Lowry neighborhood in Denver. Although you can look across the street at large, newer homes where the old Lowry Air Force Base has been re-developed, the apartment complex the family lives in is unsafe. In 2009, one of Gebi’s friends was shot to death in front of their apartment and the case has not been solved. But before the family’s new four bedroom Habitat home is completed later this year, their cramped apartment will become even more cramped! Two more children, have been approved to emigrate from Ethiopia and will soon join their family in Denver.
Gebi said he has looked for a larger apartment, but was unable to afford it. He works as a taxi driver and Jaware works for Little Graduates Daycare. Gebi said a good friend of his told him about Habitat for Humanity and encouraged him to apply. He soon attended an orientation meeting and applied afterward. Although the family was approved, Gebi said they waited for an opening on the east side of Denver because it was important for them to remain near Jaware’s work and near Denver’s Ethiopian community. Their patience paid off and their new home will be in Aurora, not far from where they live now.
When Gebi first immigrated to the United States, he lived in Florida. He said he came to Denver to visit a friend and enjoyed the drier climate and the city, so he decided to move to Denver permanently in 2000. Although their current apartment complex was once considered safe, Gebi and Jaware are afraid to let their children play outside unattended. "Our kids are going to have a yard and freedom! They can’t play in this apartment", Gebi said. Their new home is scheduled to break ground in May and Gebi is thrilled for his children. "Oh man, we will be excited! Everybody will be happy," he said.
Neither Gebi nor Jaware have worked in home building
before, but the couple is enjoying working their sweat
equity hours. "It’s going lovely and we like it", he said.
Gebi especially likes seeing how the Habitat homes are built
and that they’re built to high standards.
Both Gebi and Jaware offer their thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver and all the volunteers who are helping their dreams of a better life come true. "Thank you to the staff and volunteers, and all those who gave me advice and helped me through this process. Thank you to the sponsors for my new home", he said.