Local veteran received keys to newly built home just in time for Christmas

Thanks to partnering long-term disaster recovery organizations, Ruben Reyna and his wife, Eva, received the keys to their newly built home during a home dedication ceremony.

The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group worked closely with Catholic Charities case manager, Griselda Ramos, to get the Reyna’s back home. Ruben Reyna is an army veteran who has lived in Corpus Christi for most of his life. Ruben and his wife expressed nothing but gratitude during the ceremony. “We’re blessed to have people like you to do the work you do and get us back home,” shared Ruben. “I could say thank you one hundred times. All of you have touched our hearts, and we’ll remember you every day we spend in our new home.”

The Reyna’s home is a true representation of successful partnerships working together to help families recover from Hurricane Harvey in the Coastal Bend. Funding for the home was provided by Catholic Charities, United Methodist Committee on Relief – Rio Texas Conference, Hands of Hope and grants received by the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group from the family of Howard E. Butt, Jr. and Global Giving. A separate grant received by CBDRG from WellMed funded the ramp at the back of the home.  

Several volunteer groups contributed to constructing the new home. Mennonite Disaster Service – Storm Aid began with framing the home, Christian Public Services completed the exterior and interior walls, Appley Valley Catholic Community Youth from Massachusetts painted the exterior, BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery built the ramp, Boy Scouts Troop 52 installed doors, Girl Scouts Troop 9737 completed caulking inside the home and lastly, Mennonite Disaster Service – RV Disaster Corps completed the interior of the home.

Coastal Bend Food Bank provided a turkey, some perishables, and can goods to help the family get started in the new home. St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services donated the bedroom furnishings to the home as well.

This is the fourth family in Nueces County that CBDRG and partners have done a complete rebuild of the home. CBDRG and partners have completed construction on 42 rebuilt homes with six currently in production and have completed 114 major repairs with 27 underway. Additionally, the group has replaced 52 manufactured homes, with two more to dedicate before Christmas. In 2019, volunteers have donated a total of 71,740 hours working on long-term disaster recovery projects – a value of greater than $1.2 million dollars.

CBDRG remains committed to three main goals as they continue working in the area: help families return their homes to a safe, secure, habitable condition, keep the community together and bring resiliency to the community. More than two years following the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, Coastal Bend residents and socially vulnerable families are still in need of assistance to recover from the devastation. CBDRG has been working diligently to bring families like the Reyna’s back home. The work is made 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