While these are real families we have used pseudonyms for their names and their subdivisions to protect their privacy.
Through this project, we follow the aspirations and day-to-day lives of these families and highlight the public policy issues that affect their ability to obtain decent housing. By chronicling their struggles, year after year, we are able to explore in detail the ways that their inability to obtain safe, decent, affordable housing has influenced their destinies.
The project focuses on five families living in poverty:
• an immigrant family living in a South Texas colonia,
• a single mother and her children living in rural North Texas;
• a disabled, homeless woman living in Lubbock;
• a man displaced from public housing in Fort Worth; and
• an elderly woman struggling to keep her home standing.
We use this project to inform our community organizing and advocacy efforts. Issues raised in this project guide us as we develop policy initiatives, work with government agencies, the private sector, state legislators and members of Congress to implement those initiatives. By publishing these stories, we hope to raise public awareness of poverty and housing problems—an inescapable reality for more than one million Texans.
TxLIHIS began the project in 2000 and our staff revisits the families from time to time. We try to help the families find housing assistance.
The stories will be published in editions of our newsletter Housing Matters.
Family #1 - The Velas
The first installment of the Five Families project tells the story of the Vela Family—a family like almost one hundred thousand others living in colonias, who despite their best efforts are unable to break free from the shackles of poverty.
Watch an audio slide show summary of their story.
Read their story and our analysis of policy changes that should be carried out to help families like the Velas.
Family #2 - coming soon
The second family is a single mother and her children living in rural North Texas who tried to buy a mobile home.
Family #3 - coming soon
The third family is a disabled, homeless woman living in Lubbock with her grandchildren.
Family #4 - coming soon
The fourth family is a disabled man displaced from public housing in Fort Worth
Family #5 - coming soon
The fifth family is an elderly woman struggling to keep her deteriorating home standing.