Justin Hernandez was out one day walking his dog when he noticed something amiss in his new neighborhood. He had moved into the Arizona community just a month before, but was shocked and concerned when he noticed an elderly woman in her 70’s living in her car. The car was parked in front of her own house, and Justin wondered why the elderly woman, Theresa Hernandez, couldn’t stay in her home.
When Justin saw the inside of Theresa’s house, he understood. It reminded him of a show called Hoarders. The plumbing and electricity were shot, not running anymore, and the house was unlivable.
So Justin got the neighbors together, and they decided to help. “It tore my heart. It broke my heart,” Justin said in an interview with KSAZ. “A 71-year-old woman sitting out here in 110 degree weather isn’t alright.”
“I learned that Theresa is living in her car in her front yard. Her house is not livable. She had a lot of trash, a lot of feces outside and inside the house, so we started cleaning the outside first.”
Theresa told Justin that after her husband died, she was not able to care for the house and two dogs on her own.
Said Justin, “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.”
A lot of work has already gone into restoring Theresa’s house. Justin has started a Facebook page “Paying It Forward” and a YouCaring page, to help the cause. “I don’t believe were going to have it done right away, it’s going to be a process,” Justin 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.”
The community has really rallied around Theresa, and many of the volunteers have gotten to know her. They say she’s a ray of upbeat sunshine, someone you just can’t help but be in a good mood around.
LIVING IN HER CAR: Her house has no running water, electricity and it looks like it's straight out of an episode of Hoarders. But one new neighbor decided to step up and help an elderly woman move out of the car that's in her front yard.STORY: http://bit.ly/2gVdEXm
Posted by FOX 10 Phoenix on Sunday, September 10, 2017