LaCoste Village Home Giveaway

Aug 23, 2023 | Jan Ooms

What do tornadoes, a ‘good’ deal on a home, the loss of a spouse, an uninhabitable home, an indomitable human spirit, and a great organization have in common? Well, if you begin to put the pieces together, like a great mystery novel, you end up with an amazing story.

It was one of those days. Hot, sticky and you could smell a storm in the air. Sure enough, later that day, toward evening, the skies growing dark and menacing, the winds picked up. For those who lived in the small community of LaCoste Village, this was nothing new. They had endured many storms in the past, always picking up the pieces and moving on. This night would be different. The small tornado came on the heels of a terrible thunderstorm. The winds had picked up and the community had buttoned down the hatches as best they could. Tornadoes, however, don’t seem to pay much attention to all the buttoning down. It roared through, ripping branches off trees and even overturning a few mobile homes as though they were small branches. One of those homes, having been rolled several times, suffered severe damage. Shortly after, the home was put back on its foundation, some minor aesthetic repairs were made, and the home was sold by a less than honest individual.

Shortly after this, Melissa and her husband were looking to move. Not having a bucket of cash, they found this home, and being offered at what appeared to be a great price, bought it, and moved in. However, it didn’t take long for the severe beating the home had taken to begin showing its effects. Doors wouldn’t close, it seemed the floor was not level, the plumbing began to have issues and some of the electrical outlets just quit working. Melissa’s husband, being a handy guy, was able to keep up and try to repair most of these inconveniences. It was during this time that Melissa’s husband passed away suddenly, and she was left alone, with few resources and a home that continued to deteriorate.

Nature seems to have a way of tearing things down, thereby causing Melissa to be engaged in a battle if you will with her own home. Not having the skills or physical resources to keep her home functioning, the home began to win the battle. Slowly, over time, the rot set in. First the plumbing gave way. Her shower no longer worked, the water leaking so badly it was destroying the wall and floor to the point where it was no longer safe. Then the entire bathroom pretty much gave up the ghost with no toilet, shower, and a rotting floor. Then came the electrical issues. One by one, the gremlins took over the electrical system. First one circuit refused to work and then another. The circuit that controlled the stove gave in to the gremlins until finally, there was only one outlet in the entire home that continued to function. Then came the critters, and like all little critters, started searching for places to get into. Did they first access the rotting floor or was it from the top down through the leaking roof? We will never know but they came! Melissa ended up literally closing off portions of her home so the little beasts could not get in to where she still had some space. It did not look good for Melissa.

During this time, along came Impact Cares! Having met Melissa quite a while ago, the team started a relationship with her. Being a woman of great resilience and courage, all she asked for was for a handrail to be installed on her steps. Having made do with what she had, Melissa was able to make things work between her work and the local truck stop facilities. Yet after gaining a clearer picture of what was needed for her entire home, the team at Impact Cares knew that trying to repair this home was not really a good option. So, what to do for a widow who was doing her best with what she had to make it work?

Several years before, someone else had lived in this community, in another home and their lives had taken a drastic turn. Not having met them we can only assume something big happened and they left the community, leaving a reasonably good home to just sit. Impact Cares investigated this home and finding it abandoned and turned back to the ownership of the community itself, they went to work. It started with just cleaning out the inside of everything that had been left behind. Then came power-washing the outside to some minor repairs inside, to a completely new paint job inside, coupled with a stove and refrigerator, the home went through a ‘make-over’ and was ready for its next occupant.

Having decided to gift this home to Melissa, she was invited to the community manager’s place for a ‘surprise!’ Having no idea what it was, when she was shown her new home, Melissa was overwhelmed with tears of joy and thanksgiving! She said, ‘I don’t know how to repay them, God will have to repay them!’ Melissa was so excited to once again be able to cook, have her family over for dinner and make this house her new home. It made such a stir in the community that even the local KSAT news featured her new home as part of a local story.

Impact Cares, a great organization of people helping people! Check out the Impact Cares website to see how you can be involved.

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