An elderly woman had a home in Phoenix, Arizona, but unfortunately it no longer felt like home to her. A woman named Theresa Hernandez was 71 years old and living in her car on the front lawn of her house in 2017.
She lived in the house for more than two decades, but eventually chose to live in her car instead. Her neighbors were shocked to find out the condition of her house and even more surprised to find out why Theresa had moved in the first place.
Theresa’s house had no running water or electricity, and it seemed like it hadn’t been cleaned in a very long time.
Her yard was just as untidy, with trash piling up everywhere. It looked like the whole place had been abandoned, and yet Theresa still lived on her property; She only lived in her old car and not in her house.
It was clear the 71-year-old needed a helping hand with looking after her belongings, but she had no one to turn to. Luckily, one of their neighbors named Justin Hernandez became aware of the situation and knew immediately that he had to act.
He lived across from the elderly woman and was heartbroken when he heard her story. Along with many other neighbors and several volunteers, Justin began to work day and night to finally make Theresa’s house feel like home again.
save your home
In September 2017, FOX 10 reported that Theresa was finally getting the help she desperately needed from some kind-hearted neighbors. Justin had moved into the house across the street from Theresa about a month earlier and noticed that she appeared to be staying in her car. “It broke my heart,” he said, as he was concerned about how the elderly woman had slept each night in such hot weather. Justin continued, “I think if that was my nana or my mom I wouldn’t want her to live like that so I had to do something to help her get back into her home.”
Upon further investigation, Justin determined that the inside of Theresa’s house looked like it could be featured in the TV series “Hoarders” based on how untidy and unlivable it was. Both Theresa’s house and the front yard were littered with garbage. Theresa explained that after the death of her husband, she struggled to take care of their house and their two dogs.
It was clear she needed help and Justin was willing to do just that. He created a Facebook page to bring as many people together as possible to clean Theresa’s house and yard. The act of kindness spread, and even people from outside came to help.
“It’s going to be a long process but at least we’ve all got together and everyone is trying to help Miss Theresa get back to her house,” Justin said. Theresa was overwhelmed by the sheer kindness and generosity of others. “I don’t know what I would do without people like her, what the world would do without people like her,” she said.
Theresa and Justin’s story has inspired people all over the world.
“You see, there are good people in this world. Show more happy stories instead of all the bad ones. Our country would be better off with those kinds of stories than all the bad ones,” Faith Smith-Maguire commented on the video below.
“This guy is amazing that he is going out of his way, and everyone else, to help this poor woman. God bless him for the beautiful heart of someone like him. We need more people like him who have more positives than negatives,” added Alma Delia Chavez.
With that in mind, other viewers were concerned Theresa needed psychiatric help, with some speculating she might be suffering from hoarding disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), people with hoarding disorder have a desire to save their belongings and therefore impulsively hold on to things that others might throw away. “Object acquisition among people who hoard is largely impulsive, with little active planning, and triggered by the sight of an object to own,” writes the APA.
“She also needs advice, otherwise it will end up like this again 😕,” wrote Jess Kindt.
Amy Lynn Haskins agreed, writing:
“Hopefully some of the money raised will go to therapy. Typically, when you’re cleaning out someone’s house, that’s a hoarder. They’ll refill it right away. I’m so glad there are still people out there helping others!”
In any case, Theresa and Justin’s story shows how important community is. No matter how down and overwhelmed someone may be, a helping hand can go a long way.
https://womenafter40.com/after-learning-that-an-elderly-woman-lives-in-her-car-the-neighbors-help-her/ After Learning That An Elderly Woman Lives In Her Car, The Neighbors Help Her – Women After 40