Villegas family in front of their completed home with The Restoration Team's Client Service Coordinator Marcus on the day of closing.
When the Villegas family surveyed their home's destruction following Hurricane Harvey, they never imagined that it would be 905 days before they would be back in their home.
Craig and Angela Villegas lived in their home with their four young children for about a year and a half before Hurricane Harvey. Like so many homes in the Houston Area, theirs' would fall victim to the devastating flood brought by Harvey. Fortunately, the family had another structure on the property they used for storage that had experienced less damage, and the family of six was able to use the single-bedroom space as their temporary home until repairs were complete.
Beginning stages of rebuild with The Restoration Team in the Villegas main home.
The temporary home was a blessing to the family, but they would still need to overcome many challenges. The family was forced to dispose of all of their furniture and belongings, including chairs, tables, and even beds. The entire family slept on the floor and made the best of what they had. Soon after moving to the temporary space, Craig went straight to work, trying to make their home livable again. Resources were limited and keeping up with repairs on both homes was daunting. He not only needed to completely rebuild his home, but the temporary living space was experiencing a roof leak, causing mold and creating serious health concerns for the family. They were all anxious to get back into their home, but that time wouldn't come for them for almost three years.
Craig spent thousands of hours working to repair his family's home. The house was in bad condition even before Harvey, so finding an organization to help with the extreme home repair was a challenge. In June of 2019, a case manager from Hope Disaster Recovery was finally able to connect with the Villegas family. The family's Case Manager, Glenanne, got in touch with The Restoration Team to help assist the family with the rebuild. The Restoration Team was able to provide materials, gather volunteers, and assisted in repairing the home from the inside out. The repairs included the foundation, new roof, plumbing, rewiring, as well as replacing all of the interior structures like flooring and walls. The Muslim relief organization, ICNA Relief USA, also helped by repairing the kitchen, providing appliances, as well as enough sheetrock to complete two bedrooms.
"This is one of those families you don't know you will come across. Your emotions and your soul get attached. My heart is attached to them, and it will stay that way forever"
Even amidst the most challenging time in their life, Craig was able to find the time to be a loving neighbor. He volunteered with The Restoration Team in a nearby home, helping replace the flooring and installing an AC unit. Thanks to Craig's selfless act, another family was a step closer to being back into their homes as well.
Some of the finishing touches are being put in place at the home, including the beautiful floors Craig installed.
On February 18th, 905 days after Hurricane Harvey, the Villegas were welcomed back into their home with a kitchen full of groceries provided by The Restoration Team. The family built relationships with everyone involved in their rebuild effort, especially their Case Worker, Glenanne, and Marcus from The Restoration Team, who coordinated the rebuild. Angela has expressed extreme gratitude, saying, "It was wonderful meeting Glenanne, and we love her so much. When she brought The Restoration Team in, it was a dream come true. We are very grateful for meeting Mr. Marcus, and he was one of the best to work with".
Disaster response can be transformational for everyone involved and reaches people in ways that may not otherwise have been possible. Marcus summed it up well when he said, "This is one of those families you don't know you will come across. Your emotions and your soul get attached. My heart is attached to them, and it will stay that way forever".