Nyapeni Doulthan and her family will be the first people to move into a new eight-unit complex in Freeport built by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland.

The home, located on Hummingbird Lane off West Street, will be dedicated at noon Tuesday with a short ceremony, refreshments and tours of the space.

Doulthan, a teacher’s assistant in Portland schools, grew up in southern Sudan and lived in Cairo for five years before moving to Portland 15 years ago. She’ll be moving into her new three-bedroom home with two of her four children.

In a news release, Doulthan said that owning her own home “means securing the future for my family.”

“It is also a commitment to responsibility,” she said. “It will motivate me to continue my education and improve myself. For my kids, it will change our whole lives.”

The Freeport complex – made up of two triplexes and a duplex – is part of a $1.18 million project designed to increase the amount of affordable housing in Freeport. The complex sits on land next to the Downeaster rail line that had remained undeveloped for more than two decades.


In an unusual collaboration, town officials helped Habitat for Humanity obtain a $143,000 federal grant to build an access road to the housing complex, and allowed the group to delay payments for the land in order to free up money for construction. Contractors donated labor and materials, and private donors contributed tens of thousands of dollars in cash to help complete the project.

The home comes with appliances, but Doulthan will be furnishing the rooms herself, according to Laura Duplissis, communications and volunteer manager for Habitat for Humanity.

Doulthan’s new home is part of the organization’s “Women Build” project, sponsored by Lowe’s, which helps women learn construction skills and build their own homes. Doulthan worked 250 hours on the home, alongside hundreds of volunteers. It took more than a year to complete.

“I’ve learned more about managing my finances,” she said, “and … I’ve learned how to fix things.”

Doulthan plans to continue volunteering with Habitat for Humanity after she moves into her new home.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

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