California Donors Purchase Apartment for Homeless Family in Gyumri

GYUMRI, Armenia—Just prior to Christmas in 2012, the Poghosyan family’s makeshift home—commonly known as a “domik”—caught fire and burned down. Homeless and struggling from their loss, the parents and their six children moved into yet another domik. The Paros Foundation, through its “Purchase a Home” project—part of its 100 for 100 Projects for Prosperity—launched an effort to solve the Poghosyan family’s housing needs. In early December 2013, the family was presented with keys to their new apartment thanks to the generous sponsorship of California donors, who simply want to be referred to as Nejde and Lilit.

The Poghosyan family
The Poghosyan family

“We first met the Poghosyan family during the implementation of our Gyumri Winter Rescue project in January 2013,” said Peter Abajian, the executive director of the Paros Foundation. “It was hard to imagine what this family had gone through, and we quickly committed to figuring out what we could do to help.”

Learning of the plight of the Poghosyan family and wanting to help, Nejde and Lilit committed to the necessary funds, and the search for a new apartment for the Poghosyan family began. Within several weeks, the transaction was complete and the family moved into their new apartment.

Throughout the process, the Paros Foundation’s Gyumri partner, Vahan Tumasyan, the executive director of the Shirak Center, worked closely with Paros’s Armenia-based staff and spearheaded the effort to identify and help relocate the family.

The Paros Foundation underwrote all administrative expenses to allow 100 percent of sponsor contributions to be allocated towards the purchase of the Poghosyan family’s home.

Today, almost 4,000 families in Gyumri—Armenia’s second largest city—still live in unsafe and extreme conditions, often taking shelter in dilapidated buildings and in the rusted remains of overseas shipping containers. Some, left homeless following the 1988 Spitak earthquake, and others, simple victims of extreme poverty, are left with little alternative than to live in these inhuman conditions.

The Paros Foundation and the Poghosyan family express their deepest appreciation to Nejde and Lilit for making this miracle happen. The Paros Foundation remains committed to helping alleviate this human suffering through its “Purchase a Home” project. To sponsor this or another Paros 100 for 100 project, visit To view a short video of the Poghosyan family’s story, visit

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.