Comfort in Numbers
Having grown up in Thai refugee camps, Chue Mouanourtoua took advantage of an opportunity to come to the U.S. in his teens. Arriving in Fresno in 1993, he attended Clovis High School and Fresno City College before enlisting in the Navy in 1999 (serving four years stationed in San Diego).
Chue returned to Fresno about 12 years ago, earned a B.S. in mathematics at California State University, Fresno and then simultaneously began his M.S. and teaching credential programs (also at Fresno State). His wife Lee, came to the U.S. from Thailand in 1996. She stayed at home to care for the couple’s six children and later attended beauty school.
The Mouanourtoua family’s first introduction to the Housing Authority came when Chue’s CalWORKs job counselor referred them to the agency in 2005. They entered the Housing Choice Voucher program, which helps qualified, low-income families select and afford quality private housing. They have been receiving assistance from the Fresno Housing Authority since 2008.
Chue describes the Housing Authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program as a “major benefit” to his family. He has enjoyed and taken advantage of diverse workshops offered by FSS on home ownership and credit history, where he has learned about the ins and outs of purchasing a home through the first-time buyer program. Though the time is not yet right for the Mouanourtouas to become homeowners, Chue’s ultimate goal is to buy a home in California.
While Chue is often motivated to move beyond Fresno – a possibility given the shortage of math teachers throughout California — Chue and his family are satisfied and well-situated in their current residence, which they found on the Housing Authority website. “I like it because it’s quiet,” Chue says, “It’s a nice neighborhood. It’s close to the kids’ school.”
As a Housing Authority resident who faces the challenges of raising a family, finding a job, and eventually buying a house, Chue says “The Fresno Housing Authority helps a lot. For me, it helps me focus on what I want and what I want to achieve. The assistance helps me have peace of mind. It helps me focus on things I want to do, and that’s a big benefit.”