Our Habitat Homeowners

Manaye & Fikirte

If we were to describe the family in one word, it would simply be grateful. The family of four moved into their Habitat Hamilton home, in the downtown core of the city, in early 2019. This came after years of hardship and worry about an unknown future – especially for Manaye. Manaye lived in constant fear of danger in his native country of Somalia, and later in Uganda where he spent 11 years living in exile, before being granted Canadian refugee status. When Manaye moved to Canada, he met his now-wife Fikirte and they had two wonderful daughters, who will never have to know the same fear Manaye did, as they grow up in their own house—with their own rooms—in a stable environment. Anyone fortunate enough to meet this family knows them as tenacious, full of gratitude, with a profound perspective on life. Habitat Hamilton is lucky to partner with this family, and to see a future of strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter in action.

Irene & Francis

Irene and Francis have front row seats to their very own home build. The couple, along with their two children, currently live in a Waterdown apartment building, and will be getting to move into their new Habitat Hamilton home located in a central area of the town in the summer of 2019. They have visited what will soon be their new home, allowing their kids to see the build progress in action and get excited about their new bedrooms. Their youngest, a six-year-old daughter, will waste no time telling you about where her room is going to be in her new house and how she is going to decorate it. This family is a humble one, working hard to make ends meet on a one-person salary while living in a building with high tenant turnover. The eldest child, a 10-year-old son, attends a school in Waterdown that supports his special needs – being able to stay in his current school catchment area is essential for him to thrive, and Francis and Irene are thrilled that will be possible. The family cant wait to move into their new home, start a vegetable garden, and have enough space so the kids can finally have their friends over for sleepovers.

Mike & Anita

Mike and Anita know what it means to step up. The couple are guardians to their three grandchildren, working hard to ensure the kids have a strong, stable and self-reliant future. Mike and Anita are the embodiment of selflessness, currently sleeping in the living room of their two-bedroom apartment so their grandkids can have the bedrooms. Mike and Anita are looking forward to having their own home, a lifelong dream, and paying an interest-free, geared-to-income mortgage instead of rent. This family says owning their own home is a dream come true, and the opportunity to be a Habitat Hamilton homeowner solidifies their belief that if you work hard enough, opportunities will come your way.


Agartha is not one to take a break. She is the single mom to three kids, living in a rented home which is in disrepair – multiple windows are broken, the roof leaks, and it’s overcrowded – forcing her to share a bedroom with her seven-year-old daughter. But she never lets the hardships slow her down. The Hamilton ReStore staff got to see Agartha’s boundless work ethic first-hand while she completed her volunteer hours, a requirement for all Habitat homeowners, describing her energy as infectious and her attitude as upbeat. Agartha and her three kids will soon be able to move into their own house, with a solid roof and insulated windows, allowing them to build family bonds in a home they own for years to come.