AmeriCorps member Jess Foster and senior site manager Stephen Scott adjust closet doors in the Habitat for Humanity home at 121 Park St., Lyons, Wednesday morning. The new 1,300 sq. ft. home is the first Habitat home built in Lyons and is being dedicated Saturday. Photo by Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer Feb. 18, 2015
Besides the repairs, of which there have been 19, Habitat has worked with eight other displaced Lyons families who either have been put in homes outside the Lyons area or are currently waiting for Habitat homes. The Vasquez family is one of those eight, a third-generation Lyons’ family that has called the area home since the 1940s.
Ramon Vasquez is blind, and his wife, Carmen, is the main caretaker of the home, currently working only part-time so she can care for their two sons – Aaron and Alex. Aaron is a sophomore at Lyons High School, where he plays football and wrestles, and Alex is in preschool. The family is confined to a small apartment in Longmont since having to evacuate a year and a half ago, away from their neighbors, friends and hometown.
“That’s my hometown,” Ramon Vasquez said. “I was raised there. There’s nothing like your own home.”
Habitat for Humanity found the Vasquez family through someone at All Hands Volunteers, another local non-profit that has been helping Habitat with a lot of the post-flood construction. Lovell said he could quickly tell that the family was clearly a part of the community but lacked the financial resources to rebuild on their washed-out land. Habitat knew they could step in and help. As Lovell put it, “there were a ton of organizations that mobilized and came (when the flood happened), there were very few that stayed.” Habitat stayed, they were already here long before the flood, and they knew they could help the Vasquez family.
“If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what we’d do,” Vasquez said. “They’ve been great with us. They’re great people.”
The Vasquezes have made it through the challenging times thanks to the support of their family, friends, local churches and other non-profits like Habitat. Now, knowing a home is currently getting the finishing touches put on it in their old neighborhood, they are eager to return.
“There is a lot of history there, and a lot of good folks,” he said. “The town is ready for us to come back.”
This is far from the only work Habitat for Humanity will be doing in Lyons; in fact, Lovell said, he sees it as the start of “a second burst” of rebuilding in the area. The state of Colorado provided Habitat with enough funding for 35 new homes right after the flood, so there are still plenty of families the organization can help.