Mariam Salem is a single mom raising three teenage boys. The family currently lives in a small two-bedroom apartment where they have to share every living space, depriving them all of privacy and comfort. Rent is also very expensive and takes up almost half of Mariam’s monthly paycheck— leaving little room for the basic necessities to take care of her family.
Mariam and her sons endure problems beyond lack of affordability at the apartment, such as a broken refrigerator that is not cold enough to safely store perishable items. Without a properly working refrigerator, creating a healthy meal plan is close to impossible. Their dryer is also having problems and sometimes Mariam is unable to dry her clothes adding additional time to her weekly routine. They also struggle to find a comfortable temperature with sporadic heat that will make one room too hot while the room next door is frigid.
On top of having little space, broken appliances, and fluctuating temperatures, Mariam’s neighborhood is no place to call home. Her neighbors are constantly shouting and making noise at all hours of the night. She said the noises make her feel scared, causing the whole family to feel unsafe and unprotected.
Mariam currently works for Denver Public Schools as a tutor. She’s determined to change her living family’s living situation and is excited to work with Habitat Metro Denver to create a safer environment for her growing family. She is looking forward to giving her boys what they need to thrive and to show them that if you work hard, anything is possible.