Rocio, Widowed Mom of 5 Living in Unhealthy Conditions
This is the story of how Hometown Missions got its start...
During the winter of 2010, Chuck Lemmond, a local builder and coordinator for community help projects for the Dripping Springs United Methodist Church, received a call for help. A young, recently widowed mother of five children ages twelve and under had frozen pipes in her mobile home.
Upon examining her issue, Chuck realized plumbing was the least of Rocio Flores’ problems. There was black mold on the walls, a leak in the roof, and sky peaking through the walls.
Chuck fixed her immediate plumbing issue, and told Rocio that he didn’t know how he was going to do it, but he was going to find her a new home. And with that promise, Hometown Missions was born.
Chuck emailed friends and neighbors in the Dripping Springs area, who in turn emailed their friends. In response, forty people from eight community churches met on a cold, rainy night to discuss what could be done to provide this family stable housing. The group determined that $8,000 would be needed plus labor and other resources.
Those attending the meeting got the word out and within a few weeks, three times the needed amount was donated. The churches that were represented were DS United Methodist Church, DS Presbyterian Church, Gateway Bible Church, St Martin de Porres Catholic Church, and Church of the Springs — the first time a community of congregations had come together as one.
Over the next few months, this group — originally called Dripping Springs Community Mission Partnership (DSCMP) and now called Hometown Missions — moved Rocio and her children out of the house, cleaned and stored furniture and clothing, and demolished her dilapidated trailer. It says a lot about this young mother’s faith to see her home demolished when she had not yet seen her new home.
But the new mobile home did arrive, thanks to Patsy Ward, one of DSCMP’s volunteers and Board member. With the donated funds and Patsy’s contact with Mobile Loaves and Fishes of Austin, Hometown Missions purchased a new FEMA mobile home, built a covered porch entry, fenced her lot, hooked-up utilities, and moved her family. Over 40 people attended the blessing.
Hometown Missions continue to be a part of the Flores’ life because, for DSCMP, it’s not just about livable, safe housing. That’s only the beginning. It’s about being a friend to our neighbors, helping our families improve their life skills and overall situation.
Over the next five years, Hometown Missions continued to be involved with their first family:
- Helped Rocio obtain her GED
- Helped her obtain her citizenship
- Helped her secure a full-time job with benefits
- Cleared some financial problems she had
- Supported her children during the summer through camps and other activities
- Purchased a computer for her children
- Support and love at Christmas and other Holidays
In 2014, Rocio received the news that the land where her mobile home resided had been sold for a new subdivision and she had a year to find a new location.
DSCMP began looking for a new location for her home. Hometown Missions ran a Go Fund Me campaign and raised money towards the purchase of land.
Unfortunately, no land was available that met their needs and budget. With 30 days to go, Bill and Jean Avera stepped forward and offered land for Rocio’s home.
Another family stepped forward and housed Rocio and her five kids for over a month while Hometown Missions moved her home, installed a new septic system, rebuilt porches, and refreshed the inside of the home.