Non-profit builds homes for Peñitas residents

5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Wednesday, June 07 2023 Jun 7, 2023 June 07, 2023 12:51 PM June 07, 2023 in News - Local

A non-profit that's dedicated to helping low income families in the Rio Grande Valley is getting more money to continue their work.

Grateful families gathered under one roof to celebrate having a safe place to call home.

Among them, Moises Moreno, his wife Ivonne and their son Omar. They make ends meet by selling food in their neighborhood out of a food cart Moises built himself.

"The idea was mine to construct a food cart to sell tacos because during the pandemic it was really difficult. This helped us keep moving forward and what we made with that was more than enough for our family," Moises said.

However, their Peñitas home is falling apart.

"Last year, we noticed that our house was deteriorating more and more, and we said we don't have enough money to construct a new house," Ivonne said.

That's when they turned to the Buckner International Healthy Housing Program. The non-profit has built new homes for about 130 Valley families.

"The locations where we build the homes are in a very impoverished community and a lot of the homes in these locations are substandard condition," Director of Administration and Operations for Buckner International Cris Cuevas said.

Right now, the Resendiz-Moreno family is living in their old trailer. But it's just a few steps away from their new home.

Volunteers are working on the roofing and siding for the home, and the whole thing is about 65 percent complete. The family hopes to move in by the end of the week.

"The group of volunteers arrived on Saturday at 3 p.m. and started working right away. They've been at it every day since then. We're very happy because we didn't expect to be blessed with this," Moises said.

Now, more families will have the opportunity to get a new home as well.

Buckner received a $300,000 grant from the USDA that will help them build 13 more homes over the next two years.

"Families benefit because it gives them stability and longevity and homes that are healthy and safe for their children to live in," Cuevas said.

Anyone in the Valley can apply for the program. In order to be selected, the family must be considered a low-income household and join the Buckner Family Hope Center in Peñitas where they will take classes for things like financial literacy.

Buckner is also looking for more volunteers to help build the new homes.

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