Thrivent Partners with Austin Habitat to Repair Homes: Arlene Valls

June 28, 2018

Ms. Valls was born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. After graduating high school she came to the United States to take college courses in the Ft. Worth area of Texas. In 1993, she moved to Austin with her four children. After settling in Austin for a few years, Arlene’s pastor helped the Valls family find a home on Peaceful Hill Lane in 1996 -where they have lived ever since.

Throughout the years, Arlene worked hard to support her family on her own through many jobs. She has worked as certified pest control agent and a licensed CDL driver. In 2000, while working on a lift truck, Ms. Valls fell 12 feet. The subsequent injury from the fall has proved detrimental to her long-term health and caused Arlene to have some permanent disabilities. Still faced with the need to support her family and home, she continued to work in positions such as pharmacy assistant, sometimes taking 2 bus transfers to get to work.

Another misfortunate happened in 2016, when Ms. Valls suffered injuries from a car wreck. This time, her injuries caused nerve damage to her hands. Although Ms. Valls has made an impressive recovery in her walking mobility, her home needed significant repairs and accessibility modifications. That’s where Austin Habitat came in and was able to help.

We focused the critical repair on completing accessibility modifications to the hall bathroom including installing grab bars and a detachable shower wand. We upgraded the electric by adding outlets and replacing all receptacles in the house because they no longer held the electrical cords securely. We repaired some ceiling in hall bathroom to prevent moisture and replaced the bath/kitchen faucet with a single lever for Ms. Valls joint pain. To protect the foundation and divert water from the walkways, we installed gutters and repaired the porch. These critical repairs and accessibility modifications will ensure Arlene is safe and can comfortably move around her own home.

Thanks to the Thrivent Builds Repairs program, Arlene’s home received further repairs on the exterior. Thrivent volunteers and members of the community helped weatherize Arlene’s home with a fresh coat of paint, which will protect it from the elements. While her injuries have made life somewhat difficult, Arlene still has a positive attitude. She is working on improving her typing skills and continuing to apply for jobs. In the meantime, Arlene can enjoy her life on Peaceful Lane knowing she has a strong roof over her head and a solid foundation under her feet.

Thank you Thrivent Financial for your support of Austin Habitat’s Home Repair Program!

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