Why is this Army Vet living in horrible conditions ?

"All I want  is to have peace and a house to live in."

Those are the words from a 18-year Army Veteran I met today. His name Nicoles Hernandez and the conditions he and his wife, Carmen, live in are HORRIBLE. Just a few weeks ago he and his wife were living in a house without roof or walls. You may recall the story from our sister station, KISS-FM, in which people were asked to come forth to donate time, supplies, or money.

By looking at  his face , you would never know what a hard life he has had. In the Army he was a cook and trained to be an electrician, a very happy  and proud person. I ask how long he was in the service and in a very proud and confidant voice he responds,  "I served active duty 3 years and 15 as a cook. I was a very good cook"

His story is rather sad though.

After leaving the Army, he lost everything to a bad divorce. He moved into his mother’s house in the Lower Valley. After a fallout with his family, he was told to move out. With no place to go, he lived in the streets for a few months, then at a few shelters, and, of course, in his trusty van. Then he met his current wife Carmen.

Living off their Social Security checks and saving a few dollars, they  decided  to by a plot of land in Horizon City, hoping to build the house of their dreams. Flash forward 6 months or maybe more, "I dont  remember how long,” said Mr. Heranadez, there was no house and plentiful hard times. All that he had was a plot of land, 4 wood pallets, a plastic, blue tarp and a van. The Hernandez family lived here:


Well as I drove up to the Hernandez home, only  5 minutes and 10 blocks away from my home, I couldn't believe my eyes. No nice homes, badly paved streets, trash everywhere, weeds lining the street. Is this happening in my  little town? It looked more like a dump with some make shift homes scattered around.

You can not miss the Hernandez house. It’s just the frame. A blue tarp covering what I would soon find out was the front  door. A bed exposed to the elements, a hose as running water, which was only just installed by volunteers days ago, no windows, ants, roaches, and various other bugs crawling on the dirt-filled floors.  Water leaks into the home every time it rains and the frame is not anchored to the foundation. It hardly met even the most lenient city codes.

How could this happen? In our own city, no less. The fact that this man has served our country makes this even more appalling. This isn’t a third world country, it’s El Paso!


That’s exactly why KISS-FM, KLAQ, and 600 ESPN El Paso are teaming together to coordinate some volunteer efforts for this couple. We have a few dozen volunteers lined up, but what we’re needing now are donations of money and most supplies (sheetrock, brick, tile, etc). We’re looking for electricians, plumbers, and other skilled laborers to step up and offer services and supplies. If you think you can help, please fill out the form below.