Community comes together to help renovate home

At a time when the country seems very divided one Central Texas community is showing what can be accomplished through unity. A family in Lockhart was living in unsafe conditions and now their home is being renovated free of cost.

From weather damage to mold and infestation, the Torres family home was on the verge of being condemned. But instead of letting that happen, neighbors came together.

Joel Gammage says, "Everybody thought, hey it's condemned. What? There's actually people living there? Oh my god, you know. But really what's been so amazing from when we saw that initial reaction to now, is the amount of love that's been coming out of people when they really understood their hardships."

A brother and two sisters in their 50s live in the home together. Each of them suffer from health conditions. They had been too scared to ask for help, out of fear that the city or county would condemn the house and leave them no place to live.

"Over the course of the past year with some of the severe rainstorms that we've had, it actually collapsed the roof...over two of the bedrooms in the front half of the house. it almost completely destroyed the entire roof," Gammage says. 

But one by one neighbors gained the trust of the Torres family. 

"Just feel really happy for the family. That they are finally getting stuff they need and deserve. This family has a wonderful heart. they've lived in this for so long," Catherine Calaway says.

Social media was able to help spread the word. Now neighbors have traken on the task of renovating the home by donating time and materials. 

"It definitely it was very shocking for me to see the conditions that they were living in," Gammage says. "So I told them we're going to help you but you're not going to live in that side of the house anymore essentially. Sso we essentially had to get rid of 98% of all of their belongings. Everything had severe water damage, mold damage."

They are working to get the house and family back on track. The city and county have reportedly agreed to hold back on making a decision about condemning or foreclosing on the home.

The goal is to have at least half the house truly livable by Thanksgiving.

For more information on how to get involved you can contact Joel Aaron Gammage at (512) 657-4616 or email him at joeltexashatters@gmail.com.

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