Home Repairs and Construction
In the Rio Grande Valley, shelter is a real problem for the new immigrants and migrant workers. They purchase a lot ranging from a half-acre to two acres on time, at a high interest rate. Their shelter could be a small travel trailer, motor home, bus or a small building made from pallets or packing crates.
Our building program is based not only on the need but also on the accountability. One requirement to receive a home is volunteer time that does not interfere with their work hours. Many of our families work in the food pantry, sorting clothes, and help to keep the classrooms and buildings clean. The men help with the yard work as well as any of the projects under construction.
Churches will sometimes organize a group for a week and come down to volunteer wherever the need is the greatest. They will build and paint during the day and put on plays or do crafts with the children after school.
A hot meal is prepared at noon for all volunteers and we do have some accommodations but it is limited to small groups.
The Winter Texans are our mainstay and volunteer one or two days a week. These volunteers winter in the Valley and come from many of the RV Parks in the area. We also have couples that volunteer on a weekly basis. Our volunteers are from all over the States and Canada and are from many different denominations.
Last winter's main project was a donated travel trailer that required some work before being put on the family's lot. It had been severely water damaged. We restored it and gave it to a family that has been volunteering at the Center for two years. His Hands Ministries has built a total of 25 homes and refurbished 19 mobile homes. Some were purchased, but most have been donated.