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A safe place to call home

Originally from Burma, Beh Beh faced many hardships. She lived in a refugee camp in Thailand after being forced to flee her village to escape ethnic cleansing.

The youngest of three, Beh Beh watched as soldiers escorted her older brother to the forest, where he was forced to dig his own grave. Shortly after, her older sister passed away after giving birth.

“A part of me was taken away when I lost them,” Beh Beh has said.

Struggling with an abusive relationship, Beh Beh sought asylum in order to keep her family safe and away from their father.

Beh Beh and her daughter, Amy, lived in Arizona and Oklahoma before moving to Nebraska.

“It’s not the right place for us,” Beh Beh would say. “Arizona and Oklahoma don’t feel like home.”

Once in Omaha, Beh Beh and Amy moved into the Yale Park Apartment complex. They had to deal with leaks, mice, cockroaches and bedbugs. Stressed about their living conditions, Beh Beh would get sick often.

“She was stressed and depressed,” Amy said. “My older brother and I are what kept her going.”

When Beh Beh heard about Habitat for Humanity of Omaha’s Homeownership Program, she was excited to provide Amy with a decent place to live.

“My mom not only needed a house to call home but also a state to call home,” Amy said. “She was finally able to do that.”

In 2018, Beh Beh and Amy moved into their fully renovated home. Owning a home improved Beh Beh’s health.

“She doesn’t get as sick anymore,” Amy said. “It’s a good environment and she’s so much happier.”

Their home has also helped Amy focus on her education. Amy received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Last year, she became a U.S. citizen. Amy says she is working hard to make her mom proud.

“She’s my best friend,” Amy said. “She’s been with me my whole life and she deserved the best. It makes me happy to see my mom happy.”