Home for the Holidays: Ms. Nino

Ms. Nino, a single mother of three and grandmother of four is in a silent struggle against the forces of nature and troubles that life often brings. After raising her children of her own, for reasons unspoken, she has adopted and raised four grandchildren.

Unfortunately, her home is barely large enough for her newly expanded family. While doing her best to persevere and give her grandchildren an opportunity for a future, Hurricane Harvey found its way into her home through her roof. The ceilings gave way to the water, falling to the floors of the house. Due to the large amounts of water now in her home, the foundation shifted, and the slab cracked, like so many homes in the Houston area. With the slab no longer level, the bathroom and bedrooms doors won’t close. The same for the cabinet doors in the kitchen.

Previously, Ms. Nino had hired a contractor to level the home to get started on some of the repairs. The man who was hired has since changed his phone number and try as she might, she cannot locate him to fulfill his promise and warranty on his work. Adding to the stress, there is still evidence of mold in the drywall of their home.

She and her children and grandchildren have been working – room by room – day by day – to replace the drywall to help remove the scars left by Harvey and make her house a home once again. She buys what she can when she can to repair her home, although this is not a small feat.

Ms. Nino has made many sacrifices and has done all she can to try and make ends meet for her and her four grandchildren. She raised exotic birds as a way to make money but had to sell them to help with costs. Even though she has tried to do some work on her home herself, she had hired contractors to help her, only to find out they were taking advantage of her and her unfortunate situation. Once this was brought to her attention, she sent them away and lost the money she had given them. Now, with all her money exhausted, the progress on the repairs has come to a grinding stop. Mrs. Nino was losing hope that her life will ever be more than it was at that moment.

“Looking forward to thanking you in person and meeting all of you who worked so hard to help us do better, and live better and have faith that, someone is going to come eventually to help us.”

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Houston Responds: Southeast, Ms. Nino had a little more than hope this Christmas. She was able to have repairs done on the elevation of her home, as well as her AC system. Due to the damage and the decreasing temperatures outside, her home was very cold and unable to heat. Mrs. Nino and her four grandchildren were able to spend their Christmas in a repaired home.

In the video below she expresses her most sincere gratitude to everyone who worked so hard to make their house a home again.

"I'm excited about seeing my home improve, not just a house, but a home where we can continue to love four kids."