Buckner Rio Grande Valley, volunteers start building a new home for the Peñitas family

Volunteers work on framing a new home for the Peñitas family on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. (Berenice Garcia/The Monitor)

PEÑITAS — Rosaura Juarez held her grandson as she stood outside, watching as several men built a house in her front yard.

Juarez, 39, is the recipient of a new home that volunteers began building two months ago in the parking lot of Valley Ranch Baptist Church in Coppell. The home was later dismantled, brought to the Rio Grande Valley, and is now being reassembled for Juarez and his family here.

“I’m very happy,” Juarez said in Spanish. “Everything in God’s timing; we already know they will help us but God only knows when.”

About 35 volunteers from Valley Ranch Baptist Church and several from the First Baptist Church of Garland came to Spring Break to work on the home.

The church donated a home to Juarez in partnership with Buckner Rio Grande Valley, a faith-based nonprofit located in Mission that serves vulnerable children, families, and seniors.

About a year ago, Juarez started taking courses at the Buckner Family Hope Center in Peñitas. The classes cover family and financial coaching. After completing the course, he is eligible to receive a new home, free of charge.

However, joining the program does not automatically qualify a family for free housing. In fact, Gabriel Flores, mission and humanitarian assistance manager for the Buckner Rio Grande Valley, says qualifying for a home requires as many touching things as connecting them with the right church, the right volunteers, and the right donors.

“A lot of people go into it and it’s more of an internal process but families, when they join the program, as I said, not everyone who joins the program gets a house,” said Flores. “We look at a lot of other factors like the level of poverty, the risks children face.”

An example of that risk is when a house is deemed unfit because it may be dilapidated.

“For example, this family lives in a one-bedroom house and it is a family of four,” said Flores, noting that this can lead to privacy issues but also insufficient space, especially as children get older.

“Kids can’t do their homework, they have no place to do their homework because all there is is a bed and maybe a couch and that’s all that fits in the house,” said Flores.

Volunteers work on framing a new home for the Peñitas family on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. (Berenice Garcia/The Monitor)

But safety for children is the most important factor, said Flores, as is whether the house is properly insulated and can protect them from inclement weather.

Also, to be able to provide them with a home, the family must own the property on which the home is to be built.

From Ciudad Victoria, Juarez has lived in the Valley for 25 years, including four at Peñitas. He currently works at a local grocery store.

He has four children aged 23, 22, 14 and 8 years. Only the two youngest children live with him and his girlfriend.

Watching the volunteers work on the new house, he said, was very exciting.

“I really thank God,” he said.

Arthur Mendes, adult pastor for Valley Ranch Baptist Church, said that while they have worked with Buckner to minister to the area for almost 15 years, this is the first time they have begun building homes remotely and then moving them into his home. final location to be resolved.

“It’s like a puzzle with lots of Lego pieces,” Mendes said. “We hope to have all the outside of this home finished by the end of this week and bless this family with these resources.”

After they finished their work on the outside, Buckner expected to have another group of volunteers complete the inside.

However, volunteers are expected to be in short supply so Flores says the house will likely not be finished in another four to five months.

“So in the middle of the year, this family has to move,” said Flores.

In total, three homes are being built through the same remote building process in partnership with Buckner.

As well as the Juarez house, two other homes are being built by the Stonebriar Community Church of Frisco and the University of Houston Baptist Church.

The idea of ​​starting construction of these houses on the site of the respective churches and then moving them here was prompted, at least in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We always come here and build houses from scratch but during the pandemic, all the churches have had to stop, press pause to come to this Valley,” said Mendes. “One church here in Texas came up with this process that they developed that let us build a house in a parking lot and haul it here in pieces and help with the finishing process for the house so when we looked at it we saw it would be a great opportunity to increase and share our resources.”

Because of this new process, they can involve more people. In total, Mendes estimates they had about 250 volunteers at the church to build the house.

And though this is the first home they’ve built this way, Mendes says they’d definitely do it again.

“It’s a great way for us to serve,” Mendes said. “We have it in our DNA, in our church, to serve the community, and this is a great opportunity for us to be able to do that.”

Source link

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *