EDINBURG – Roberto Gomez will never forget December 30, 2017.
That day a family of five, became a homeless family of two in a matter of minutes.
A mother and two of her children lost their lives in a mobile home fire leaving only Roberto, along with his son Pablo to live in grief.
Early efforts to get Roberto's life back in order stem from a handful of people including those from the Edcouch-Elsa School District, Aguilar's Meat Market and St. Joseph the Worker Church in San Carlos.
Edinburg Fire Department Lt. Ramiro Ramirez reached out to the church, which without hesitation welcomed the Gomez family for food, clothing and living assistance. Father Razo told Ramirez to expect a call at a later time because more needed to be done.
Later that week, Martin Villanueva, the owner of Villanueva Construction called Ramirez. A vague plan was put in place but both hit the ground running.
One thing led to another. Hidalgo Pct. 4 cleared the debris, members of the Gomez family made themselves available spending the night on the property to ensure the building materials were not stolen and with regular support from Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider, Villanueva and his crews began construction on the new home.
Ramirez wore multiple hats during the building phase of the home. He and Gomez needed to make lists, pick furniture, kitchen colors and other interior designs.
The project was completed in two months, Gomez and his son now have a new home. Monday morning Pablo unlocked the door to the new home he and his dad would call home. On the walls were the portraits of Lucia Gomez, Ricardo and Daniel Alberto.
“This is something special from not just me but everyone that cared in the Valley,” Ramirez said as he handed Roberto a box with his new house keys inside. “Congratulations.”
Humbled and fighting tears, Roberto thanked everyone who was involved with the project.
Almost at a complete loss of words, he was able to say, “From my son and I, thank you.”