Through the combined efforts of the Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group (CBDRG), Habitat for Humanity of Aransas County, Mennonite Disaster Services – Storm Aide (MDS), and the Rockport Fulton Chamber Foundation (RFCF); the Robertson’s family of eight was blessed to receive an bigger home for the large family.
For Curtis and Cortny Robertson, along with their six children, Faith, Joshua, Landon, Logan, Madison, and Caleb; the new four-bedroom home is bigger and better than their previous homes that were met by disastrous events.
Their first home perished in a fire on the same property in which their new home resides.
After having to relocate for a while, the family was able to move back to their property but in a smaller home than before. They added on to the smaller home, however, when Hurricane Harvey hit, what they added onto the home had been destroyed. It forced the family back to square one.
“From there, we were just making due,” said Cortny.
In an effort to keep the family together under one roof, Curtis built an additional bathroom, laundry room and purchased a Derksen building that required a complete interior construction. The goal was to have a working bathroom, laundry room and sleeping area for the whole family while he began to repair the family home
However, upon inspection of the home, it was determined that it was a total loss and needed to be demolished.
Habitat for Humanity of Aransas County heard about the Robertson family’s situation and reached out to see if they could provide assistance in March 2019.
“At the time, we didn’t have the funding, but I reached out to Warren Phipps (CBDRG Executive Director) and asked if there was anything we could do,” said Habitat for Humanity of Aransas County Executive Director Patty Butters. “He told me, ‘Go ahead and get started with the demolition.’ I said, ‘How? We don’t have funding yet.’ He said, ‘Just get started, we’ll take care of it.’”
As soon as approval was given, Habitat for Humanity of Aransas County cleared the way for the MDS to demolish the old home, clear all debris off the property and begin construction soon after in April 2019.
“It was miraculous to see them (MDS) work,” said Cortny. “They’re amazing people and we’re so grateful for them. We’re so blessed that they were here because we didn’t just get a house; we got friendship, we got to fellowship with good-hearted Christians and we’ve even been invited to go see them.”
During this time, Curtis had undergone open-heart surgery.
The family was happy to be getting a new home, but it was also worrisome time as Curtis remained hospitalized in Corpus Christi as he recovered.
“I was wondering if my husband was going to wake back up from surgery,” said Cortny. “His health was in such critical condition, that he wasn’t out of the woods of being here with us.”
Cortny routinely traveled to Corpus to give Curtis encouraging updates on the new home.
With the help of the MDS and a host of private contractors, construction of the new home was completed on July 1.
“It’s the best thing that could have ever happened for us,” said Cortny.
Curtis eventually recovered from surgery and was able to finally see the home in person.
“He just got out of rehab six weeks ago so he was away that whole time,” said Cortny. “He’s still not finished because they have to do more surgery, but he’s doing so much better.”
At the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Robertson’s were surrounded by family, friends, members from their local church, and representatives from CBDRG and Habitat for Humanity.
“We were so pleased that the building process ran so smoothly and quickly and were relieved to meet our deadline for the family,” said Butters. “Working on this particular home and having so many amazing partners, family and friends meant everything to our affiliate and the family.”
The Robertson’s home marks the 31st home dedication ceremony by the CBDRG and its partners. The Coastal Bend Food Bank also stocked the pantry and the refrigerator for the family. Furniture in the home was purchased with a grant from Save the Children; it was donated and purchased at a low cost from Zavala’s Furniture in Rockport.
CBDRG, in partnership with several other non-profits, have completed 152 major home reconstruction projects to date with another 53 on-going projects. All of this is possible due to the generous donors and hardworking volunteers. CBDRG continues to seek volunteers who range from skilled-laborers to general help. To learn more about the CBDRG and fill open volunteer positions, visit www.coastalbenddrg.org/volunteer.