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May 15, 2019

Lahpai and Chang Li’s American Dream

Lahpai and Chang Li are proof the American Dream is alive and well. The keys they hold to their new home is all the evidence that is needed.

Lahpai and Chang recently became new homeowners when they accepted those keys from Our Towns Habitat for Humanity.

It ended an American Dream journey that began when they fled Myanmar a decade ago with two small children, leaving behind a nation that has been in political and religious turmoil for generations. Their first stop in America was Jacksonville, Florida, where they found work at Fresh Market. They excelled at their jobs, and were transferred to Cornelius, where they continue to shine for Fresh Market, serving up some of the best sushi around.

Work and comfortable surroundings free of political and religious strife were a life-altering change for Lahpai and Chang Li and their two teenage boys, but like many, they still faced financial difficulties. Affordable housing was difficult to find. Rent ate much of their monthly income, leaving little for other essential family needs.

Enter Our Towns Habitat, providing the final piece for the fulfillment of Lahpai and Chang’s American Dream.

As with everything they have encountered in America, the family attacked the process of gaining eligibility for a new home with an affordable mortgage. Initially there were some credit hurdles, but the couple successfully completed a financial counseling program to eliminate those obstacles.

On May 9, with an informal ribbon cutting and big smiles, the family became homeowners in a Bailey Springs neighborhood of Davidson. Their kids can walk to school. They have a comfortable, functional living space with a bedroom for each of their sons. They have safe and affordable housing, which allows for a much less stressful life.

“This home is a blessing from God,” Lahpai said.

This home is proof that with hard work, perseverance and a little help from others, the American Dream is alive and well.

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