Bridges to Community Families: Lennin and Johana

Lennin Segundo and Johana

IMG_1670Lennin Segundo and Johana knew that if they kept working toward their dreams, things would pay off for their family in the end.  Now, sitting in front of their three year old house–freshly painted in a bright seafoam green–they can talk about how far they have come, and speak confidently about where they’re headed.

“The children love having more space,” Johana reflected, her two young children at her side. “The place where we were living before had only one room–barely enough space for one bed, and that’s where we all slept.  Now, everyone has their own bed, there’s so much more space, and we now even have a small shop in the house where we sell things like soda and bread.  Every day we’re moving a bit further–we’ve seen so many changes already.”

When Lennin and Johana first applied to be beneficiaries of the Bridges to Community housing project in Piedra Menuda, Lennin had just started working at a career that would soon become his passion and livelihood.  “I’m a barber,” he states proudly, “and that career has helped us so much.”

His wife steps in: “Back in those days, [when we first became beneficiaries of the house with Bridges], I was working, and we were saving up money.  He had just started working as a barber from home, and so we were all in this one room, and I said, we can’t keep doing it this way–we’re going to have to push ourselves just a little more.” And they started putting the money Lennin was earning into a savings to construct an extra room on the new house.

Today, they have their house, divided into two bedrooms and a living room, with a small space for the little soda and food shop. Attached is another large room where Lennin has his barbershop where his loyal clients know they can go for a haircut or a shave.  He even has a space for where he will soon hire another barber to help with all the business.

Johana smiles as she runs her fingers through her daughter’s light brown hair: “I am just so grateful because before, we didn’t have a house, and we have benefited so much from this project, and were then able to achieve a little bit more in order to make the space a bit bigger, for the family. We are so appreciative for what we have been able to achieve.”