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The Baynes Family

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Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, Yen Baynes and her family moved frequently. Her parents worked hard to make a better life for their children, and the family rarely . . .

Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, Yen Baynes and her family moved frequently. Her parents had to work very hard to make ends meet and support their children. The family constantly searched for better employment and as a result was rarely able to stay in one place for more than a year. Housing stability was just not possible.

Before purchasing their home with Homestead, Yen and her pre-school aged son, Alek, were living in a crowded two bedroom apartment in Seattle with three other adults. Yen had recently divorced and found it very difficult to support her son and herself on just her modest income and no child support. The run-down apartment she shared was full of mold and mites. Yen and Alek suffer from asthma and severe allergies, which were exacerbated by the unsafe conditions. Both Alek and Yen were on daily medication to try to keep their symptoms manageable. Unfortunately, the unsanitary and crowded apartment was the only housing Yen could afford.

Yen then learned about Homestead by attending an orientation at a local community center. Homestead, she realized, could provide her with an opportunity to lift her family out of poverty and find a safe and comfortable home. Yen continued working hard at her two jobs and stayed on a tight budget, saving much of her wages. As a result of her efforts and the subsidy brought in by Homestead, Yen was able to purchase her first home.

Yen and Alek’s Homestead home is within walking distance to local shops and is only minutes from Yen’s work in perinatal services, providing birth support and community outreach to families in her neighborhood. Alek will attend primary and secondary school and grow up with the children in his neighborhood without fear of moving and leaving his friends behind. Yen is giving her son the stability she longed for as a child and she can now focus on saving for the future and staying rooted in her community.

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