Loudoun Habitat for Humanity dedicated of their 55th home in Loudoun County on May 7.
It was a bit of good news in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in keeping with social distancing guidance, Ayana and Maria were joined by their three children, ranging from four years old to a month old, and Maria’s sister during a private dedication ceremony. Several of their new neighbors watched from their doorsteps or as they were walking by, and cheered as Ayana cut the ribbon and opened the door to their new home.
The Jallu family applied to Loudoun Habitat for Humanity’s Home Ownership program in May 2019, and one year later, they are moving into a new three-bedroom townhome in Sterling.
According to Loudoun Habitat, buying the home is “a hand up, not a hand out” for the Jallus, who have been raising their family for the last couple of years in a one-bedroom apartment in the basement of another family’s townhome. Their new home will finally give their children the space to play and grow, the privacy of their own bedrooms, and a fenced-in back yard where they can get outside. It will also get the family away from the health and safety concerns that can go with living in a basement.
The Jallu family found out that baby number three was coming shortly after being approved for Loudoun Habitat for Humanity’s Homeownership Program. The news gave them a sense of urgency to complete the program’s requirements.
Ayana works in health care, Maria in transportation, and both worked extra hours and adjusted their schedules to attend homeownership classes, participate in financial mentoring, and work alongside other Loudoun Habitat volunteers in the ReStore and several other construction and home repair projects before the pandemic hit.
Ayana, Maria, and Maria’s brother helped build a wheelchair ramp for an elderly veteran, a shed, and worked on other renovation tasks for another home renovation project. Maria said that when she started working on the construction site, she didn’t even know the names of the tools they were using. Loudoun Habitat for Humanity’s Construction Manager said that Maria worked so hard even on the hottest days that he had to insist that she take breaks.
“We are so thankful for the work and details of Loudoun Habitat construction staff who were able to complete the work on our house during these times,” the Jallus stated. “We want everyone to know how much we appreciate the donors and volunteers who helped make it possible for us to purchase this home. Thank youth those that worked with us on the construction sites, and our family and friends who helped us in the process. Thank you for being a part of our success in becoming homeowners.”