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Habitat For Humanity Helps Single, Refugee Father

Posted: 6:19 PM, Jun 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-19 18:19:50-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A single father spoke with LEX 18 about how his life was changed by the Habitat For Humanity Homeowner Program.

The stories Joseph Bashombenshombo could tell would send chills down your spine. For years, he called the wartorn country of the Democratic Republic of Congo home. It is where he lost his wife.

“They tried to kill us, we escape, we escape just by the grace of God,” said Bashombenshombo.

In 2012, Bashombenshombo and his seven children came to America as refugees.

“I was low income. It was very impossible to pay rent and support myself and my children,” he said.

He was struggling, earning just $11 an hour, so Habitat for Humanity stepped in to help.

“Our vision is that everyone has a decent place to live, and when we say ‘everyone,’ we do not mean ‘everyone but,'” said Rachel Childress, the CEO of Lexington’s Habitat for Humanity.

Bashombenshombo and his family went through the build process, putting in hundreds of hours of “sweat equity.”

“I feel like I’m at home because I have a house that is comfortable for my kids,” he said. “This house gives me joys, it makes me happy.”

Habitat was able to work out affordable payments so Bashombenshombo could become a homeowner. He told LEX 18 that the sense of pride and the sense of peace he has now, he’ll always be grateful for.

“God bless them. God bless you and continue to do that is a good, charitable act. Yeah, thank you,” he said.

This summer, LEX 18 is partnering with Habitat For Humanity to build a home for a deserving family in Lexington. We have crews continuing to work on the home, and we’ll have crews working next weekend, weather permitting.