Aransas Pass family receives keys to new home
AUGUST 2, 2019 [ARANSAS PASS, TX] – The Pena Family of Aransas Pass, Texas moved into their brand-new home thanks to partnering long-term recovery organizations working to bring families back home after Hurricane Harvey across the Coastal Bend. Catholic Charities, Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group (CBDRG), Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), Samaritan’s Purse, St. Vincent de Paul and the Coastal Bend Food Bank all contributed into making today’s dedication possible.
Krystal and Christopher Pena and their children were forced to live in their severely damaged three-bedroom home after Hurricane Harvey. The living room was the only habitable part of the house after the storm. Christopher said the entire south side of the house’s roof was destroyed. To restore their home to livable conditions, Christopher took on the overwhelming challenge of making repairs to the house after working long hours at his job. In response to the home delivery, Christopher and Krystal shared what a significant relief this new home was for them. “We were sleeping on floors, and the children were sleeping on the floors. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” says Christopher. “Thank you to everybody who helped out; we appreciate all the volunteers. I don’t have to come home after work and continue working on the house; I can come home and relax now; everything is in order.”
Surrounded by friends and family, members from Catholic Charities and CBDRG, the Pena’s were delighted with joy. “I’m happy to see everything come together. It’s been a long journey for them,” said Griselda Ramos, Catholic Charities case manager. “We opened the case back in July of last year. They’ve been extremely patient and gracious. It was a blessing to work with them.”
The Pena’s home marks the 36th rebuilt home by CBDRG and their partners. The Coastal Bend Food Bank stocked the pantry, and the refrigerator for the family and some furniture in the home was from St. Vincent de Paul’s House in a Box program. CBDRG has rebuilt six homes in Aransas Pass with another three still under construction.
“The coalition is still working to identify families unable to recovery on their own,” shared Warren Phipps, executive director of CBDRG. “As we approach the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, now more than ever we must stick by our three core focuses: help families return to safe, secure and habitable homes; keep the community together; and bring resiliency to the community.”
CBDRG, in partnership with several other non-profits, has completed 156 major home reconstruction projects thus far and is continuing to work on another 60 on-going projects. All of this is possible, thanks to the generous donors and hardworking volunteers. CBDRG continues to seek volunteers who range from skilled laborers to general help. To learn more about the CBDRG and to fill open volunteer positions, visit www.coastalbenddrg.org/volunteer.