We always worry about how our family members are doing. Our parents, siblings, and friends are always on our minds. Unfortunately, there are many people without families to look after them and help out in times of need. Theresa Hernandez was one of those people. At 71 years old, Hernandez of Phoenix, Arizona, was living out of a car parked in front of her home. She had no running water or electricity so she would just sleep in her car, which was no longer safe to drive.
Luckily, her neighbor, Justin Hernandez — unrelated — decided to step in. He had only moved into the neighborhood a month prior and after seeing his elderly neighbor living in those conditions, his heart broke.
“It tore my heart. It broke my heart,” he told KSAZ. “A 71-year-old woman sitting out here in 110 degree weather isn’t alright.” “I figure if this was my nana or my mom, I wouldn’t want her to live like this, so I had to do something to help get her back into her home.” Soon, Justin found the reason why the woman couldn’t live in her home: the inside of it was in shambles.
Trash and feces filled the inside and outside of the house. She explained that after her husband passed away, she couldn’t take care of the house and their two dogs by herself. “So my jalopy became my home,” she said. Justin started a Facebook page called Paying it Forward and soon, strangers began to pitch in. Some donated money to their YouCaring efforts while others showed up as a group to help clean up. Plumbers and electricians were happy to offer their services to get the utilities up and running. Theresa herself couldn’t have been more grateful. “I don’t know what I would do without people like them,” she said. “What the world would do without people like them. There are very few.”
The home will need a lot of work done before it is completely livable again, but thanks to the work of Justin and the many volunteers that pitched in, it is well on its way. “I don’t believe were going to have it done right away, it’s going to be a process,” he said. “It’s going to be a long process, but at least we all got together and everyone’s trying to help Miss Theresa get back into her home.”