From the moment her family moved into their San Marcos home in 1969, Rebecca Ramirez’ childhood residence symbolized the love and loss they all experienced.
As the structure of the Ramirez family changed over time, so did the structure of the house. Time, along with wear and tear, impacted the home, which made it tough for the family make fixes.
Through the help of the community, the future of the Ramirez household is looking brighter. Earlier this month, volunteers at the Southside Community Center lent a hand in renovating a home that once held a family of seven people and, at times, fed Hays County’s homeless population.
The Capital Area Housing Finance Corporation split $75,000 between three Hays County organizations in December, one being the Southside Community Center in San Marcos. Ramirez grew up with members of Southside Community Center, which had helped the family before. Now the family’s home will be entirely re-leveled, repainted and will receive a new, safer roof.
“I’m just really grateful,” Ramirez said. “I knew the house wasn’t that great, but I didn’t realize how much was wrong with it until, like, people came in and looked.”
Currently, Ramirez lives in the home with her mother and her brother, Augustine Rodriguez, who is undergoing dialysis treatments. Ramirez works at Texas State University and supports her family almost entirely, a work ethic that she said she learned from her parents.
“When I was younger, my dad was always doing everything on his own,” Rodriguez said. “He repaired and fixed everything. My mom stayed home, but she took care of us and the neighborhood kids which is how we got to know people at the community center.”
Ruben Garza, executive director of the community center, said the family has always been supportive community members and he plans to do more projects in the future for other Hays County families.
“There are plenty of deserving families, but at this time we couldn’t think of anyone more deserving. The homeless kids (Dominga) helped when her kids were young are grown up now and doing well. It’s time (the Ramirez family) gets what they need too.”
Volunteers will arrive in February to renovate the bathrooms in the home, while local contractors are reinsulating the entire home and adding new drywall.
“It feels good to be able to take care of my family,” Ramirez said. “I wish I could do it all on my own for my pride, but I’ve always been proud of my parents and the kind of people they were. I’m very grateful for the help.”