New home for refugee family in time for holiday

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- They escaped civil unrest to get a shot at a new life in the U.S. and Saturday a local refugee family is now getting a taste of the American dream, just in time for the holidays.

By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established.  Through knowledge it's rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

Blessing the house that hope built.  The Dowayees are Liberian refugees looking ahead to a bright future in their new home.

"From what we went through and what we experienced back home to coming over here I think it is something that can make our life successful," Dowayee said.

Martin, his wife Evon and their three children are moving in, thanks to help from Habitat for Humanity.

"We serve very hard working class folks families who can't get a traditional mortgage, can't even afford today's prices for a home and so they've got to put a lot of work to build their home," said Michael McDonald from Habitat for Humanity.

The family put in about 400 hours of hard labor to earn their ticket to affordable home ownership.

"The effort we put in and just get our hours done, for our house.  It's something I appreciate," Dowayee said.

Family and friends were on hand to marvel at each room and dream up ways to make the empty house a home.

"I want to decorate it to put my name on my side of the bedroom," said Martin's daughter Surprise Dowayee.

Surprise, 10, is used to apartment living, but a big house with a yard means more room to be a kid.

"We like to play tag, freeze tag or soccer, basketball," said Surprise.

With a place to call their own in a safe and supportive community, martin says anything is possible.

"Everything is perfect now," said Dowayee.  "It's going the way it was not used to be and so far, we're thankful for that."

The family went to homeowner education classes while they built their home, and now that they're moved in they will begin repaying a no-interest mortgage to help Habitat build more homes.