Mohamed & Jamila

Mohamed was proud to help build a sustainable and affordable home for his family in 2016. As new Habitat NOVA homeowners, he and his wife Jamila are now able to create a better life for themselves, their three young children, and his mother-in-law.

Working mostly on Saturdays, Mohamed performed sweat equity hours for his family and proudly documented the home’s construction progress at every opportunity. “I wanted to build every day! It was a really amazing experience to take part in the construction,” noted Mohamed.

Born in Somalia, Mohamed and his family fled to Kenya in 1991 to escape war and instability. Years later, he met Jamila, a young woman who had grown up in his neighborhood in Somalia. By 2010, the couple migrated to the U.S. and settled in Northern Virginia. As their family grew, the couple’s perspective on their living situation changed. The growing family needed more space, but they didn’t make enough money in their full-time jobs to purchase an adequate home. They moved into a three-bedroom rental apartment but didn’t feel safe. Their basement unit was next to a laundry room, where strangers broke the lock so they could sleep there. Drug users sometimes gathered in the hallway, and teenagers loitered on the playground. Worse still, a young resident of the building was the victim of a sexual assault. Seeking safer living conditions for his family, Mohamed enrolled in Fairfax County’s First-Time Homebuyers Program, before learning about Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia (Habitat NOVA). He submitted the Habitat NOVA pre-screening form without expectations. “It was a dream come true. I was not expecting such a call!” Mohamed recounts about learning that his family had been selected for a Habitat NOVA home.

It was a dream come true. I was not expecting such a call!

Owning a home in the United States “is a big, big accomplishment,” he says. He and Jamila are creating a stable life for their kids, providing a safe and peaceful home. They also see homeownership as a way to invest in their children’s future and education.

Inspired by their time working alongside other Habitat NOVA volunteers and supporters, Mohamed and Jamila are actively devoting personal time and support building strength, stability, and self-reliance for future Habitat NOVA homeowners.