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Neighbors of DuPage

Family of Six Celebrate New Home from DuPage Habitat for Humanity

West Chicago - On Sunday, June 2, Janvier and Josephina finally received the key to their family’s new home in West Chicago, after years of building a foundation in DuPage County. Over 75 people showed up to celebrate, worship and welcome the family home. Members from their place of worship, Jericho Road Church, and Habitat supporters alike came together to lift the family up in celebration.
On Sunday, June 2, Janvier and Josephina finally received the key to their family’s new home in West Chicago. They and their four children were thrilled to see their new home dedicated.

When Janvier, his wife, Josephina, and their kids stepped off the plane at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and felt the cold breeze from Lake Michigan, they knew they weren’t in Africa anymore. Coming from a refugee camp in Tanzania and being placed in one of the wealthiest counties in the country by their refugee agency had its own set of challenges. They received a helping hand from local government programs, allowing them to stay afloat, but Janvier wanted more for his family.

“I have always wanted to stand on my own,” Janvier says. “Without assistance, we could not afford to live here. But I grew increasingly tired of the trap that this aid seemed to keep me in. When our fourth child was born, we were told we had too many people for our apartment. But our program only had housing in another town many miles away. It was hard for my kids to leave their friends. We have had to move two more times since then because of rent increases I cannot afford. I want to be on my own to support my family.”
Janvier wanted a home of his own that would not only be a happy, stable foundation for his wife and four children, but also a place that he could share with others.
Janvier says, “I thought, ‘If I have my own home, I can more easily share it with others,’ which is very important to me. It is what we do in our culture, welcome friends and family into our homes.”
Over 75 people showed up to celebrate, worship, and welcome the family home including members from their place of worship, Jericho Road Church, and Habitat for Humanity supporters.

At the dedication, Janvier and Josephina were able to do just that. Janvier walked the floors of home, smiling and shaking hands with his faith community. He thanked everyone for coming and thanked Habitat staff and volunteers for all the work they’ve put into the house to turn it into a home.

Janvier says he likes to work, and his family wanted to work for their home, so they could feel like they earned it. He feels that DuPage Habitat is a good community organization, saying “The best thing about DuPage Habitat is that they help people like God has asked us to do.”
“Hard work brings good things,” Janvier says.
He now has hope for the future of his family. Josephina is ready to start a new job now that all four kids are in school full-time, and Janvier has already moved from a bagger at Jewel to working in the warehouse. Next year, their oldest son, Eric, will graduate from high school.
“I am grateful and I look forward to when I can help someone else,” Janvier says.

After singing a hymn and listening to a blessing of the home by Pamela Klein, the family expressed their gratitude for this opportunity. Eric gave thanks to their spiritual community for welcoming them over the years.

Give a family a hand up this year by getting involved in DuPage Habitat for Humanity’s Faith Build. Contact Sue Ward at 630-510-3737 ext. 302 or for more information.

About DuPage Habitat for Humanity: DuPage Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1995 by Dick and Florence Nogaj as a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, and a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical, Christian movement dedicated to building and selling homes in partnership with limited-income, hard-working families. Governed by a local volunteer board of directors, DuPage Habitat lowers homebuilding costs by relying primarily on volunteer time to build and renovate homes, to run many of our critical operations and to provide supportive services to our partner families. Since 1995, DuPage Habitat has helped more than 500 people obtain a safer place to sleep at night, along with the strength, stability, and independence to build better lives. Their goal is to serve an additional 68 people this fiscal year. In 2017, DuPage Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore diverted over 750 tons of usable materials from landfills. To volunteer, donate or get involved in their mission visit today.  

Sources: Nina Fuentes 630-510-3737 ext. 310 and Carolina Nicholson 630-510-3737 ext. 318 Images by