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Laredo Councilwoman & Two Nonprofits Launch Pilot Program to Provide Emergency Relief for District VII Families in Need

Published on:  
February 24, 2021

PlumbFix initiative to help low-income homeowners with critical water line repairs following last week’s winter storm

Two nonprofits — Habitat for Humanity of Laredo and the Río Grande International Study Center (RGISC) — have teamed up with District VIII Council Member Alyssa Cigarroa to provide critical emergency relief to multiple Laredo families through PlumbFix. 

A press conference will be held Thursday, Feb. 25 at 10 am at the Habitat for Humanity of Laredo office, 4703 Warehouse Lane, 78041.

This unique collaboration is a pilot program aimed at low-income homeowners of District VIII, to address broken water lines and the cost of repair, following last week’s unprecedented winter storm, that left many without access to clean water for drinking and hygiene.

“We’re doing this because we’re not going to wait for help,” Cigarroa said. “The severe winter storm has had especially harsh consequences in District 8. Homes in the District are among the oldest in Laredo.”

The polar vortex, which drove Laredo temperatures into the teens, left in its wake broken water pipes, exacerbating the struggle of many local families who were already without power due to an extraordinary collapse of the Texas energy grid.

“Water is life,” said Tricia Cortez, executive director of RGISC, an environmental nonprofit located in District 8. “Helping families without the means to pay for these costly plumbing repairs to restore their access to running water is the least that we can do.”

Carol Sherwood, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Laredo, agreed. "Disaster strikes hardest on those most vulnerable,” she said. “Habitat for Humanity of Laredo is pleased to partner with this worthwhile project to help some low income homeowners find some stability after the winter storm.”

The broken pipes left behind by the winter storm have intensified the economic distress that many in the community were already experiencing by the COVID-19 pandemic, Cigarroa added. The program will prioritize emergency pipe repair that poses a risk to the life, health, or safety of the occupants.

To provide as much assistance as possible to those in need, PlumbFix is challenging the community to a one-week fundraising blitz. Donations can be made via:

  • Go Fund Me at bit.ly/LaredoPipeRepair
  • Checks can be made to RGISC with the note “PlumbFix” and mailed to 1 West End Washington Street, Bldg. P-11, Laredo, TX  78041. Alternatively, call the RGISC office at 956-718-1063 so that we can make arrangements to pick up. 

District VIII residents in need of help should contact the Habitat office right away at (956) 724-3227.

100% of proceeds will be used for this initiative to be administered by Habitat for Humanity of Laredo. 

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CONTACT US
1 West End Washington St. Bldg P-11
Laredo, Texas, 78040
956-718-1063
info@rgisc.org
Rio Grande International Study Center is a certified 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
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