Immigrant Family Affected By Floods Finds Second Chance
by Kim Gebbia
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - One by one residents in the Pennington Bend area of Donelson are moving back into their homes after May floods. But for one immigrant family, a more than ten month long journey has been a difficult one after getting denied federal grant money.
Fifteen years ago the Sen family's American Dream came to life Down Alandee Street in Pennington Bend.
"I have 14 years stay in same place. I work hard to make this my own," said Erdal Sen.
Sen moved to Nashville in 1996 from Turkey. But years of developing their new life here in the US was nearly washed away in a weekend.
"It's tough, 11 months. It's been tough," said Sen.
Last May, their neighborhood took on several feet of water and forced nearly every homeowner in the area to leave everything for dry land.
Today, only half of the homes in Pennington Bend are occupied, and most of those are still under construction.
Many of the residents here were given federal aid to help rebuild, but because of mortgage complications, the Sens couldn't get federal assistance and were left with $52,000 in damage.
"It's hard because every time you go to a place and they say they can't help you then you are just okay then I will ask them too but they won't help me, you don't have that faith left anymore," said Sen's sister, Elif, who was also flooded out in the Bellevue area.
But just when they were about to give up the Nashville Area Habitat for humanity gave them hope for a second chance.
"Man, when I come and meet with the volunteers looking in their faces. It is great and I love them, thanks for them I hope I can do anything for them," said Sen.
Erdal Sen was overwhelmed as he walked back into their home on Tuesday repaired by grant money and volunteers.
"I am so glad it's over, I am great feeling, I am feeling great honestly, it's like a new life," said Sen.
If there is one thing America knows and loves, it's a good comeback. The Sen family said they are proof it can happen for flood victims with time, community support and never giving up on faith.
"Habitat is for faith in humanity and yes, I do have faith in humanity now," said Sen's sister.
Sen works at the Kroger on Donelson Pike. The company gave him $500 in free groceries. The grant money was partially provided by the Community Foundation.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:04 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:04:23 GMT
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