In October of 2014, a house that was to become home to a Habitat family was critically damaged by fire. The house, located on the 2100 block of North 38th Street, was one of five complete rehab projects that Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity had been working on last year.
Yer Her and his family of seven were hoping to move out of their apartment and into this new home over Christmas, but Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, Brian Sonderman, assured them, “…it’s a tough loss, but we’ll rebuild.”
Thanks to a grant from the Argosy Foundation with additional support from Wells Fargo and individual donors, the Her family got to open the doors to their new home last week. This property was another one of Habitat’s complete rehab projects, located on the 1900 block of North 33rd Street.
The family’s five young children ran wide-eyed, exploring the welcomed space of their rebuilt two-story home. The original darkly stained joists and built-in cabinets were left intact by Habitat rehab crews, much to the delight of its new homeowners. The Her family gleamed with joy, having turned a new chapter following the fire of what was to be their first home.
This was not the only time Yer Her overcame adversity to achieve a better a life for his family. Born in the mountains of Laos, Yer and his family fled to Thailand in 1980 to escape imprisonment and genocide following the Vietnam War. They settled in a refugee camp for seven years until Yer moved to the U.S. in 1988.
On a return trip to Laos in 2003, Yer met his wife and began a family of their own. That family now has a safe, decent and affordable home to call their own.
Yer said one of the first things he plans to do as a homeowner is take down the existing fence between he and his new neighbor, who happens to be Yer’s brother, a fellow Habitat homeowner. “It’s the perfect size for volleyball.” Yer adds about the yard spanning between he and his brother’s property.
Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity is breaking ground on 13 new construction homes and rehabbing five abandoned, foreclosed properties in Washington Park in 2015, making affordable homeownership a reality for more hard-working families throughout Milwaukee.
If you would like to help Habitat achieve its vision of safe, affordable housing for all, donate monetarily ONLINE or donate items to our ReStore. ReStore offers free pickup service for large donations. Schedule a pickup ONLINE!