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News Release
Evergreen Habitat for Humanity Dedicates Two Homes in Clark County for the Hpauyam and Rice Families Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 2 pm - 10/03/19

What: Home Dedication

When: Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 2 pm

Where: 1110 SE 77th Ct Vancouver, WA 98664


[VANCOUVER, WA.]  (October 4) – Evergreen Habitat for Humanity will dedicate the homes for the Hpauyam and Rice families. Brangmai and Merry Hpauyam and Casey Rice look forward to the stability and safety of homeownership.


Brangmai and Merry are from Myanmar, and were relocated through the Refugee Resettlement Program. When Brangmai and Merry arrived in the United States, they had with them their daughter, Tsin Mai, who was only 3 years old at the time. They didn’t speak English, making the transition quite challenging. Through the Refugee Resettlement program, they were given a stipend for housing and health care for 6 months.Despite these challenges, Brangmai was able to find a steady job and apartment for his family. They continued to build their family with the births of two more daughters, Lulumai and Htoisan Mai, now 4 years old and 10 months old.  The family of 5 quickly outgrew their apartment that they paid 45% of their income on.


“I thought it was impossible to own a home, when my daughters would ask why we don’t have a home, I told them it was not possible.  Now I can tell them it is possible.” said Brangmai.

Casey Rice is the single mother of three children, Elyanna, Anthony, and Annabell. After leaving a toxic relationship with her long term partner of ten years, and the father of her children, Casey enrolled herself at Clark College and graduated with an Associate’s Degree. The family of four previously lived in a two-bedroom apartment. As the kids continue to grow, there’s not much in the way of space. “Bunk beds, shared closets, and no yard make for a frustrating weekend with three kids.” Casey says. To the Rice Family, homeownership means financial stability, as well as a place for the children to play outside and have room to grow. 

These two homes were made possible thanks to generous sponsors, American Forest Resource Council (AFRC) and Habitat’s Women Build program. Thanks to their financial contribution, the Hpauyam and Rice families’ dreams of homeownership will become a reality. As a part of their sponsorship, AFRC donated lumber for the home from Interfor, Timber Products, and Freres Lumber. In addition to the sponsorship of the Hpauyam home, staff at American Forest Resource Council volunteered in the construction of the family’s homes.


“This is a powerful and exciting partnership that shows how local forest products companies make safe, affordable housing possible,” Joseph said, President.  “Our vision is simple: let’s get to work restoring the health of our at-risk national forests, convert hazardous fuels and wood into lumber and other sustainable wood products, and utilize carbon-friendly material to help solve environmental and social challenges like climate change and the housing crisis.  We’re part of the solution – and we could not be more honored or thrilled to apply our vision and passion to build a home for the Hpauyam family.”  


AFRC advocates for the management of public timberlands in five Western states. Its members harvest and manufacture wood products that provide homes for families just like the Hpauyam’s.  AFRC President Travis Joseph said his association and its members are proud to help another deserving family achieve its own American dream of home ownership. 


The Rice family home was sponsored by Evergreen Habitat’s Women Build program. A program of Habitat for Humanity International, Women Build enables women to help eliminate poverty housing by building home and communities. Through the Women Build program, women volunteers and homeowners gain the confidence and skills to lay bricks, pound nails, raise walls, and build hope. Habitat’s first Women Build event was held in 1998. Since then, all-women construction crews have helped build more than 2,500 homes in partnership with families.


“The Women Build Committee is ecstatic for the Casey Rice and her children as they move into their new home. We are so excited to empower Casey as a homeowner and watch her flourish as a pillar of strength and stability for her family and our community” said Andi Costello, chair of the Women Build Committee.


These homes also couldn’t have been built without the tireless dedication of our volunteers. We had 492 volunteers contribute 7,213 hours in total to both homes.


 Join us in celebration on Sunday, October 6 at 2 pm, at 1110 SE 77th Ct Vancouver, WA 98664.


Since 1991, Evergreen Habitat for Humanity has worked to improve living conditions for low-income Clark County residents. People in our community, and all over the world, partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability, and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families. 


For additional information or to schedule an interview with an Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, please contact Josh Townsley, Executive Director, Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, at 360-737-1759.



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