From Refugees To Lexington Habitat Homebuyers

LEXINGTON (May 30, 2019) – Lexington Habitat for Humanity celebrates the completion of Morris Shabani and Maroy Chibalonza’s home! A neighborhood cookout will take place at their new house on 326 Nelson Avenue in Lexington on Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. followed by the dedication of their home at 2:00 p.m.

This family’s journey to homeownership has not been an easy one. Both Morris and Maroy were born and raised in Goma North Kivu, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They fled the area in 2009 to go to Uganda where they lived in a Refugee Camp for the next seven years. After coming to Lexington in 2016, their primary focus became providing a safe home for their children. Throughout their partnership with Lexington Habitat, Morris and Maroy attended 18 weeks of homeowner education classes and completed over 500 hours of sweat equity. This Sunday, their hard work and perseverance will pay off when they are handed the keys to their home alongside their five delightful children. Morris and Maroy say purchasing their home is like “a new beginning

in life.”

This family’s home was built thanks to the HEN (Holy Ecumenical Neighbors) partnership, which brought together Central Baptist Church, Christ Church Cathedral, First Presbyterian Church, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Lexington Friends Meeting, Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church and Second Presbyterian Church.

“Morris and Maroy have been wonderful partners, a shining example of the idea that with a little help, we all have the potential to stand on our own. We are so grateful for them and of course, for the support of the HEN congregations. These partnerships are a true testament to our primary principle of loving our neighbors, all of them, no “ifs”, no “excepts,” said Rachel Smith Childress, Lexington Habitat CEO.


Driven by the vision that everyone deserves a decent place to live, Lexington Habitat for Humanity has been building, preserving and repairing homes in Lexington for over 30 years. Lexington Habitat homebuyers help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering, donating to or shopping at one of our Lexington ReStore locations or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit