Yu Wah Thein and Han Min Thein

December 31, 2023

Despite the hard journey it has been to get to homeownership today, Yu Wah Thein and Han Min Thein will do whatever it takes to provide safety and stability for their family. They met while in university, and shortly after they were married, fled Myanmar due to a military coup in 2005. They would spend the next six and a half years living in a refugee camp in Thailand.

While in the refugee camp, the couple grew their family and are parents to three now teenage and young adult boys. After finally being approved and going through the six-month-long orientation process, they moved to the United States and settled in Chapel Hill in 2011. Today, Yu Wah is working her dream job as a cake decorator for Whole Foods and Han Min in maintenance for Triangle Pools and Spas.

The family lives in public housing, where they have lived most of the 13 years they have lived in Chapel Hill. Their current home is too small for the family, and has had some safety concerns in the neighborhood. Homeownership always felt out of the question for them until they were approved for a Habitat home.  

“We originally moved [to the United States] for our safety and didn’t have any hope. Once we interviewed and the US selected us, we knew we were moving to a safe place. It was the same situation with Habitat. Once we were selected, we knew this was a safe move,” said Yu Wah Thein. “Not only our family, but a lot of people appreciate Habitat.”