TSAHC Impact Story: James and Catherine*

July 18, 2018

James and Catherine live in peaceful Smithville, Texas about 40 miles east of Austin. Smithville is a quiet town in Bastrop County near the Colorado River with a population of less than 4,000 people. James is a 72-year old veteran of the US Navy. He takes care of his wife, Catherine, who is diagnosed with cancer and does dialysis every day.

Both James and Catherine are on fixed incomes, which make it difficult for them to maintain their home on top of Catherine’s high medical bills. Over time, the lack of home maintenance led to serious concerns, and James and Catherine found themselves living in substandard conditions. After another home repair agency upgraded the electrical and addressed the couple’s mobility issues with bathroom modifications, there was still more work to be done.

A referral from the Austin Housing Repair Coalition led Austin Habitat for Humanity to James and Catherine’s home, where we completed additional critical repairs. We focused on leveling the house by replacing pier and beam foundation with new concrete piers. The coalition’s interĀ­ referral network made it possible for this elderly couple to receive a whole-house approach to critical home repairs. This holistic approach maximizes impact for the client and can contribute to positive outcomes in physical health and mental wellbeing.

These critical repairs restored the elderly couple’s pride in their home. They said they now feel safer and can easily access and move around within their home. Thanks to TSAHC’s Texas Foundations Fund support, James and Catherine can now safely age-in-place in their preferred community.

“Without this help, we would not be able to stay in our home. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
– James

Thank you to TSAHC’s Texas Foundations Fund for supporting the Velasquez family!

*Clients’ names changed to protect identity

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Austin Habitat for Humanity
500 W Ben White Blvd
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