Faiza Ayesh says her family's new home in the Terraza Palmera apartments in Oakland, Calif., has gotten them away from lead paint and asthma triggers.
Courtesy of Keith Baker
Faiza Ayesh giggles with delight as she describes her brand-new two-bedroom apartment in Oakland, Calif. She shares her home with her husband and three little girls, ages 3, 2 and 5 months. Ayesh, 30, says she just loves being a stay-at-home mom. "It's the best job in the world."
But Ayesh wasn't always this happy. A little over a year ago she was living in a cramped one-bedroom apartment with her family. It was in just terrible shape, she says, "paint chipping all over apartment, no heat, roaches, the windows were terrible, some held up by rope on a wheel, really bad conditions."
Dust from outside seeped in and her oldest daughter's asthma got worse fast, she says. "She's had a mild case of asthma since she was a baby, but when we lived there it went full blown. We didn't know why. She had to take albuterol every day to control her asthma, every day."
But the biggest scare came the day county officials called to say a routine doctor visit showed that both her girls had lead poisoning. A county health official came to test the apartment for lead. "She couldn't believe it; the windows and wood framing with paint chipping everywhere," Ayesh says. "And when she tested it, it all showed it had lead in it; it was so serious she wanted me to take care of it right away."