Old address: Manushyan Street, makeshift metal container No. 230/360
New address: Mush 2 district, Street 7, Building 4, Apartment 4

The Senekhchyan family once had a normal, comfortable life in Gyumri. It all changed suddenly in December 1988, when their apartment was destroyed in the Spitak earthquake. The disaster left them essentially homeless, forced to take shelter in a so-called temporary hut, known as a domik. The Senekhchyans have lived in a makeshift metal container ever since 1989, grappling with an array of dreadful living conditions: they’ve had no kitchen or bathroom; the roof and walls leaked every time it rained or snowed; and their only, and unsanitary, option to heat the hut was to burn wood — if, that is, they were lucky enough to find any.

The family consists of six members: Mr. and Mrs. Paruyr and Ruzanna Senekhchyan; their children Julietta, 8, and Armenak, 7; and Paruyr’s parents Armenak and Shahandukht. Paruyr works at a building-supply store, earning a little over $100 a month. His wife works part-time, selling cosmetics. The family’s only other source of regular income is the government assistance they receive for the children, totaling about $54 a month.

Despite the indignities of living in a domik, the Senekhchyans have never lost hope that someday things would get better. That day, at long last, arrived toward the end of 2017, when representatives of Armenia Fund visited the family at their hut and surprised them a wonderful gift: the keys to a bright, spacious apartment in Gyumri’s Mush 2 district. Made possible by a donation from Armenia Fund benefactor Jean-Marie Atamian of New York, the Senekhchyans’ apartment came fully furnished and with a complement of modern amenities, including home appliances. The Senekhchyans are the 33rd family to receive a new home through Armenia Fund’s Gyumri Housing Project.

When the Senekhchyans were taken to their new home later that day, they could hardly believe their eyes. They kept marveling at the sparkling, sizeable rooms and balcony, the beautiful furniture, the modern amenities, and the brand-new appliances. From now on, the kids would also enjoy a safe playground, and burning wood for warmth would certainly be a thing of the past.

The Gyumri Housing Project is an ongoing initiative, and the support of caring donors is always welcome. Every single dollar counts in making a difference in the lives of Gyumri’s homeless families. It takes only around $25,000 to cover the costs of purchasing an apartment, renovating it, furnishing it, and equipping it with all necessary appliances.

There are hundreds of struggling families in Gyumri who are still waiting for the day when they’ll leave the indignity of homelessness behind, and be given a fresh horizon to live for. With your generous contribution today, we can make their dream come true.

Photo Credit: Areg Balayan