meet the Velez-Chavez family

When Abraham Velez and Maria Chavez met, he was living in Connecticut and she was based in New York. Abraham commuted daily to see Maria and her children. “It was hard driving to Queens everyday,” Abraham says, “But Maria was worth it.” As the couple planned their future together, Abraham knew he wanted to bring the family together in Bridgeport. And while he hoped to find Maria and her children a place big enough, the reality was the new family had to settle on less than ideal living conditions.

“Our apartment is a third floor walk-up which makes it difficult because Leilani is in a wheelchair and we have to carry her up and down the stairs every day,” says Maria. “I dream of a place where we don’t have to go up so many stairs, a home that is wheelchair accessible, and a yard for my children to play as our current apartment has no place for them to be outside.”

When asked what Leilani is most excited about when she thinks of having a new home, she excitedly replies, “I want a pool in the backyard so I can go swimming!” Her father quickly reminds her that they need to get the house first. Abraham smiles and adds, “But a pool would be nice someday, our future home has a big backyard.”