One of our community initiatives is called Building Hope. Several weekends a year we send teams of volunteers into the mobile home parks in our community to do children's outreach and to repair homes that have been damaged by storms. This last flood impacted the Valdez family in a very serious way. We had not met this family before, but we were contacted by the city of Fort Collins because of our role in the community in flood recovery and because of our ongoing work in the mobile home parks.
The Valdez family lives in a 2 bedroom trailer that was in bad shape before the floods, but the damage from the floods have made it almost uninhabitable. The family consists of a single mom who is caring for 6 children. The kids ages are 2,3,7,9,13, and 18. The 2,3,and 18 year-old kids are blind and severely developmentally disabled. The mom was strongly endorsed by city workers who contacted us for her care and responsibility with the little resource she has. We have found that to be the case in the times we have spent with her in her home.
FEMA has rejected their request for help. We are making appeals, but proceeding with the assumption we will get no help from them.
We have had multiple contractors asses the home and all have concluded that it needs to be replaced. Any more repairs would be futile and a waste of resource. We have identified a second hand trailer that is in excellent shape and have a quote for purchase and installation of $12,000. This cost would include the costs of handicap ramps and, rails and other additions to facilitate the needs of the handicap children. We are trying to get this all done so we can replace and install before winter hits us.
This project has been a great tribute to the incredible sense of collaboration that Northern Colorado is known for. At this point, these are the services that have been provided and the commitments made to finish the project…
- City of Fort Collins Healthy Homes Program – providing transportation and personal support for family in transition.
- SERVE 6.8/Timberline Church – provided blankets, clothes, food, toys, books, diapers, water, and other things needed to get them through the transition.
- Mosaic – Offered respite care assistance for the disabled children.
Financial pledges totaling $4500 have been committed for the purchase and installation of the trailer.
SERVE 6.8 will provide all volunteer labor for demolition, removal, installation and handicap retrofitting.