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Double the Joy

in Habitat Homeowners, House Sponsor

Tacoma Habitat celebrated a double home dedication on Saturday, August 19, which included our 300th new construction home!

With double the joy, we welcomed Vinh and Linh to home #300, sponsored by the Weyerhaeuser Alumni, and LeVena to home #301, sponsored by BCRA and the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors.

A bit about the homeowners:

Vinh & Linh

For years, Vinh and his wife Linh shared a single room in a friend’s home with their daughter. “We didn’t have a lot of money, so we didn’t think we could buy a house,” says Linh. “But we dreamed of a home for our baby.”  The couple was first accepted in to Tacoma Habitat’s homeownership program in 2018, but credit issues prevented their purchase at that time. But the couple continued to work hard, significantly improving their credit to the point where they could secure a loan. And over the years, while they waited for their chance at homeownership, Vinh invested sweat equity at four different Habitat neighborhoods. Today Vinh says, “We want to thank Habitat and all the volunteers, sponsors, and construction team from the bottom of our hearts. I want to express my gratitude for this wish come true. We’ve been waiting a long time, and finally, our house is coming. We are counting the days until we move into our lovely house.” 


LeVenaLaVena posting at the front door of her Habitat home, with her son to her right and her daughter to her left

LeVena’s road to homeowership is a testament to resilience and faith. Her childhood was marked by separation from family, multiple foster placements and an early emancipation. Working multiple jobs to support herself, she traveled the world before coming home to Washington where she became an EMT, married and had two children. But her challenges weren’t over. Divorce, a complicated brain surgery with lasting impact and COVID related housing challenges were all things LeVena had to overcome. Holding tight to her faith, and with the help of her family and friends, LaVena  made her way to Habitat for Humanity. Now, as LeVena gestures through the door of her Habitat home, she says, “Here I am. Here is my house. Here’s our forever home. 


Staff, volunteers and house sponsors gathered with the future homeowners and their loved ones to mark this milestone for the two families. Amid smiles and cheers, the Habitat community gathered to witness a touching moment. LaVena, in a beautiful nod to her Indigenous culture, surprised the construction staff and house sponsors with blankets, a tradition that holds deep meaning and honor.

Later in the program, Jeanne Hillman, representing the Weyerhaeuser Alumni said, “The people from Weyerhaeuser that are involved with Habitat share the belief that homeownership is foundational to families and an important element of successful communities. I want to toast the two families that are at this juncture—after a lot of sacrifice and effort—to ultimately get the keys to their new homes. Congratulations!”

Representing the Tacoma Habitat Board, Libby Catalinich shared, “As I reflect on the road LeVena traveled to get to this wonderful day, I am reminded of a passage from the Bible, Hebrews chapter 3, verse 4. It says ‘For every house built is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.’ On behalf of the board, I’d like to express my thanks to everyone who built these homes and to thank God for the many ways he built everything that made today possible.”

Closing the ceremony, Pastor Sue from First Presbyterian Church of Puyallup prayed, “Lord we are grateful for the blend of cultures and languages and peoples that are now neighbors in this place. We ask that you not only build individual households where you bring great love, security and peace but reveal the great blessing in being neighbors with one another. God we thank you that you call us to be good neighbors and we thank you for this neighborhood. Amen.”

As the celebrations continued, Vinh’s family demonstrated their hospitality, treating everyone to the delight of lumpia. But the surprises didn’t stop there! Pastor Sue brought a shaved ice machine, turning the event into a vibrant neighborhood cookout.

Here’s to the new beginnings for LaVena, Vinh and Linh, and a neighborhood full of warmth and unity.


Posted in: Habitat Homeowners, House Sponsor