Banh Hao: Community Healing Space & Garden
In 2015, Monsoon began the renovation of a house that was gifted to the organization by the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) along with $10,000 in funds. The house had a sound structure but was badly in need of repairs, so Monsoon decided to take up the challenge of making the property livable and converting it into its first transitional housing project. By spring that year, the exterior of the house was painted and all the trash removed. In the summer, volunteers from the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines helped build a detailed fence to ensure privacy and security for survivors who would be living in the house. In the fall, the basement was waterproofed and a furnace installed. Monsoon named the property “Banh Hao” (“our house” in Lao and Thai) and became ready for occupancy in mid-January 2016. The house was transformed to a community healing space in 2019.
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