Below is a compilation of the stories on the people we help. Most go them have been helped with grants from our great donors. Every household has its story and we would like to give you an inside look.
Mr Roberto T. is 77 years old and shares his home with his 79 year old wife.
They are both severely disabled and get support from their son Gabriel and a social worker.
Roberto is sitting in a wheel chair and needs supplemental oxygen while Mrs T. is very insecure and unsteady on her feet when moving around.
This warm-hearten, sympathetic and positive thinking couple has lived in their home for 43 years but due to their tight income they are financially not able to cover the costs for security improvements which add up to around US$ 10,000.
They are in urgent need of a walk-in and handicap accessible shower unit and an ADA toilet and several grab bars in the bathroom.These modifications are necessary so the occupants can live with the feeling of security and health and the comfort of their home.
Rebuilding Together is now looking for a sponsor to take over the costs.
El Paso, August 20, 2018
We are applying for a grant from Lowe’ for the following homeowner :
Margarita U., who is 58 years old and disabled, is experiencing very difficult circumstances in her life. The tasks that she has taken on have made her challenges even greater. After her husband passed away in 2010, her financial situation collapsed. Fortunately, her home was relatively new – built in 2002 – and she had had a good life with her husband. At the time of her husband’s passing, her son Rudy was married. Rudy’s wife suffered from asthma, diabetes and lupus. When Rudy’s second child was born, Rudy’s wife could not mentally handle the care of her two children, so Rudy took custody of his two children, who were cared for by Margarita. Then Rudy was murdered when he was intentionally run over by a car after while fleeing an armed assailant. Last week, Margarita appeared in court for the case against Rudy’s murderer.
Margarita now lives with her two grandchildren, Mariah, eleven, and Abigail, seven. Just like her mother, Abigail suffers from diabetes, which requires Margarita to frequently monitor her grand-daughter’s blood sugar and frequently provide her with insulin. Margarita herself suffers from arthritis, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and panic attacks during the night, fearing threats like her son experienced. Although her bedroom is on the ground floor, she has to go upstairs to Abigail’s bedroom to take care of the little girl. Since her health is deteriorating, Margarita needs to have Abigail also on the ground floor with her. This would be possible if a bedroom can be created in the garage. Besides the covering of walls and replacement of the garage door by a wall, it requires also the installation of cold and hot air and the required safety provisions of a window and exit door. In addition to the ground-floor bedroom for Abigail, Margarita herself needs provisions in her own bathroom, like grab bars and an ADA toilet. Margarita stated that such help from Rebuilding Together El Paso would make a significant improvement in her life and would give her the courage to continue to care for her two granddaughters while overcoming her own personal challenges.
At first glance it doesn’t look like much, but Epifania, 71, takes great pride in her home. She beamed when describing how she was a renter all her life until buying her home over twenty years ago. Empty flower pots hang by the front door, and the fruit trees she dreamed would keep her husband occupied in the yard never took root, but these little touches give way to the fact that Epifania is doing the best that she can.
The majority of her time is accounted for by taking care of her husband. He has been on dialysis for nine years and currently attends three four-hour sessions each week. Epifania isn’t in the best health herself, suffering from arthritis, hypertension, and back pain after nearly thirty years of working in food services at a local school, a job she loved but retired from in December.
She lives in the home with her husband (80), her daughter (41), and two grandchildren (9 and 7). The bathroom that the five of them share needs repair. The tiles on the bottom of the shower are broken, and Epifania suspects that there are problems with the pipes as well. When anyone takes a shower, water leaks all over the floor of the tiny space. They currently use towels to soak up the water, and then pile them in the only sink. The floors are starting to rot as a result. Because her husband uses a walker, grip bars would also be a welcome addition.
When asked what else needs to be done, Epifania would shrug or toss up her hands. She said that she didn’t want to ask for too much and that the shower was really all that she needed. We did see a few broken windows around the home and reluctantly she agreed that those could be fixed as well.
Consuelo, 75, has lived in El Paso for most of her life, and for the last thirty five years, she has lived in the same house on San Jose Road. The pink walls and menagerie of pets liven up the space that is neatly kept and shared with her granddaughter (26) and great-grandson (6).
Regardless of the lovely appearance of the home, there are major problems in the sole bathroom. Three of the walls around the shower/bathtub are missing a significant number of tiles. The family has managed to hang plastic around the area, but water leaks out in large amounts causing mold to form around the bathroom. When asked how long the bathroom has been like this, Consuelo quietly told us ten years “mas o menos.”
After years of working for companies like Levi’s and Atari, Consuelo moves a little slower and her body is a little stiff. She looks forward to long soaks in the bathtub, but the longer the tiles have been missing, the worse the mold problem has gotten.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. These families are only examples of what we see on a daily basis. We take their struggles to heart, and we hope you’ll do the same. If you’re interested in making a difference in their lives, consider visiting our donation page or you can contact us if you’re interested in volunteering with RTEP.