There are many things in this world that mesh well together; adolescent sisters sharing a small bedroom isn’t one of them.

That cluttered reality has been all too real for Catherine and Inner Hernandez’s daughters, Ashley and Dayanna, who share a room in a two bedroom apartment that doesn’t have a kitchen or living room.

The 13-year-old Dayanna yearned for her own space so badly, she wrote a poem in which she’s wishing for her own room. (The poem appears in full below.)

“It explained how different we were,” said Ashley, who is 10.

Catherine, who is a Pre-K teacher, and Inner, who is a machine operator, have been trying for years to make that dream come true for their girls.

“Even if you have a profession here, it is very hard [to buy a house on Long Island],” said Catherine, whose stepson, Julio, stays over regularly.

But everything is about to change for the family thanks to the people at Habitat for Humanity, who are providing a new home for the Hernandezes on Harrison Avenue in Bay Shore.

“We didn’t expect this, everyone was so excited,” said Catherine, who had to endure a rigorous selection process before being picked for a new home.

On Nov. 28, Habitat for Humanity held a wall-raising ceremony, which initiated the 6- to 8-month project.

But, this is no freebie.

The Hernandez’s will have to pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance on the house — with the agreement that the costs doesn’t exceed more than 30 percent of the family’s monthly income.

“Habitat is a hand up, not a hand out,” said the nonprofit’s director of development, Les Scheinfeld.

In addition to paying for the new, four-bedroom house, the family is also excepted to lend a hand during construction and save money during the build.

“We give them the tools to become a successful homeowner,” said Scheinfeld.

The children are on board for helping, too.

Anything for those bedrooms.

Also on their short wish list is a front yard to call their own.

“They always wanted a yard; [my girls] like playing sports,” said a smiling Catherine. 

Top: (L-R) Ashley, Catherine and Dayanna standing in front of their soon-to-be new home on Harrison Avenue in Bay Shore. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito)

In This Room

In a room, divided in two,

Live two different sisters

One who love to do hair and makeup,

The other loves playing video games and sleep,

In this room divided in two,

Live two weird sisters,

One who is noisy and blabs,

The other who is too lazy to do both,

In this room divided in two,

Live two similar sisters,

Both sisters cause chaos in the room,

The noise which causes parents to shout,

In this room divided in two,

Live two sisters,

Who wish only one wish,


By: Dayanna Melgarejo