Putting together the perfect meal for her three kids is Samantha Vasquez's favorite way to show her love.

“Having to go food shopping and buy what I can buy that you can cook within a hotel, ’cause you can’t really cook what you want to in a hotel," said Vasquez.

She's been blowing through her savings on short term stays since Christmas, when water damage caused her kitchen ceiling to cave in.

"They deemed it unlivable, so we've pretty much been in hotels since then," said Vasquez.

What You Need To Know

  • The Vasquez family was forced out of its home on Christmas

  • It reached out to the Boys & Girls Club for help

  • The organization found and is repairing a home for the family

Vasquez has three kids. Her youngest, Victoria, is 3 years old. Zavier is 9 years old and Amir is 13 years old.

"It’s becoming a struggle because they don't know what’s going to happen from day to day," said Vasquez. " 'Are we going to be in the same hotel this week? Are we going to have to try to stay with a friend or family?' "

While she has a new full-time job as a CDTA driver, securing another apartment has been really challenging because Vasquez is working to raise her credit score. Vasquez said she's been turned away by landlord after landlord.

“It’s almost as if I can’t describe the feeling," said Vasquez. "Desperation; just very … I feel numb inside.”

Zavier and Amir are members of the Boys and Girls Club on Delaware Avenue. When the organization found out what the family was facing, they stepped in to help.

"I think it was just divine intervention, pretty much," said Vasquez.

Program Director David Gordon made it his mission to find the Vasquez family a safe place to stay. He said the usual organizations they turn to had a wait list of 4-6 months.

He finally found a landlord willing to rent to Vasquez, but it came with one major caveat. The home needs a lot of work.

"We knew that it was going to a good cause, so whatever the work involves, we just set forth and say 'hey, let’s do it,' " said Gordon.

Gordon enlisted more than a dozen volunteers, working day and night.

"We are probably already up to about 125 hours of labor," said Gordon. "Picking up trash, going through stuff."

From taking out old paneling, replacing the ceilings and fixtures, to ripping up the old floors, the space requires major repairs.

The homeowner is paying the cost of supplies, but the renovation likely wouldn't have been possible without the free labor.

"A lot of apartments are being torn down," said Gordon. "To save one that has good bones and that could also help a family out, that's what we're all about."

With the teamwork that is going into the Vasquez's new home on full display, Gordon hopes their generosity will catch on.

"I think in times of need, it’s so important to help our community," said Gordon. "I think we lost a sense of that. We should take pride in our neighborhood. It raises the value and expectation for everybody that lives around."

Gordon is aiming for the family to be able to move in by mid-February. Vasquez is eager to get in to the new place where her kids will have more stability.

"I'm probably going to cry," said Vasquez. "I am! I'm going to cry."

If you'd like to help the Vasquez family, you can visit bgccapitalarea.org, click the donate tab and make a note that it's for the Vasquez home project.