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Broken stove, lack of yard, problem neighbors soon will be a thing of past for Habitat family

When you ask Ablam Toulassi about the problems he’s had in his current home, he shares the story of the day the upstairs neighbors’ teenage son poured water through their deck floor onto his daughters.

“The water was all over,” he said, still visibly upset by the incident. “I was so very upset. I tell the landlord and (the landlord did) nothing.”

 The Toulossa family (Photo from Lexington Habitat)

The Toulassi family (Photo from Lexington Habitat)

That experience – and the broken stove, the high heating bills and the lack of a yard for his children to play – prompted him to apply for a Lexington Habitat for Humanity home. Thanks to Habitat and the family’s sponsors, they will soon own a four-bedroom, energy-efficient home with a place for his children to play.

The couple has four children. Affi, 8, Justine, 5, are in elementary school. Ablam’s wife, Kossiwa Egbe, is a homemaker and she cares for another daughter, also named Affi, 3, and newborn Kodjovi, the only son.

The family came to the United States in 2009 after living in a refugee camp in Benin, Africa. The family had been forced to flee them home in Togo, where Ablam worked as a mason and Kossiwa worked for a catering business. Ablam now works as a housekeeper at the University of Kentucky Hospital and Kossiwa is taking classes to improve her English.

Ablam said he looks forward to owning a home for the first time in his life.

“We are happy,” he said. “This will be a better life for our family.”

Ablam, Kossiwa and their family started construction on their home on Friday, June 20. They will be building on McCullough Drive alongside sponsor UPS.

From Lexington Habitat for Humanity

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