Brownsville Children Left Orphaned after Tragic Accident Find Home
BROWNSVILLE – Six Brownsville children left homeless after their mother and younger brother were run over and killed last month have found a home.
According to Victor Maldonado, director at the Ozanam Shelter in Brownsville, one of their transitional houses will be the temporary new home for the children.
He added that's what the homes are meant for. It's one of three homes to help get struggling families back on their feet.
Maldonado said the children are still coping with their mother's death, but are happy to have a home where they can stay together
The children's mom, 29-year-old Janet Jimenez and her 2-year-old son, were run over on Padre Island Highway by a driver that veered into the shoulder lane.
Their grandparents moved from Virginia to take care of them. Grandfather Valentin Jimenez said it's been difficult for the children.
"The younger ones are still not fully aware," Jimenez said, "The older ones think about it a little more. But here we are, trying to help each other cope."
Left without their mother, the children's future together became uncertain. That's why Jimenez and his wife decided to move from Virginia to Brownsville to care for their grandchildren.
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Jimenez said it's an adjustment for all. He said having a stable home makes it easier.
"We're very glad that we're together as a family," he said. "Because I started thinking about them, they were going to have to be separated, one living with one family, another other with another family, and that's not right."
Maldonado said families can stay at the transitional homes up to 24 months at a time, for just 30 percent of their estimated income.
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Following the tragedy of the loss of the two, the community rallied together to pay for a six-month stay for the Jimenez family.
"We don't want them to be more traumatized and be separated," Maldonado said. "I mean they are a family. All those kids, you know, it's proper to keep them together."
Maldonado said it's a three-bedroom home with a small kitchen and a bathroom.
He added it’s the basics for families that are going through situations like losing a home in a fire or are in the U.S. as refugees or simply are down on their luck.
"We help them out through other resources, case management, (and) referrals so they can get back on their feet," he said.
Jimenez admits sometimes it's tough to share one bathroom between nine people, but as long as his grandchildren can be close to each other, it's easier to get past the small things.
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