STOCKTON (CBS13) — Community members in Stockton are stepping in to help a homeless mom who found herself evicted from her apartment nine months ago.
The woman, who relies on her own two feet to get around, has been struggling to raise four children and now a granddaughter.
Nancy Valencia is used to walking many miles for her four children. It’s a daily routine that includes busy roadways and dangerous intersections.
“I have to walk maybe an hour earlier before they start school so they can be here on time, and from here I will take my other daughter to middle school, drop her off and then walk back with myself and my granddaughter back home,” said Valencia.
Valencia was evicted from her apartment nine months ago. She has no vehicle, which makes finding housing a lot more difficult. Fabian’s Collision Center in Stockton heard her story and wanted to help.
“It’s not about receiving, it’s about the gift and the feeling when you give and you know that you are improving the life of a member of the community it has no words,” said Fabian Ceballos.
The center is a member of Recycled Rides, a national program where insurers, collision repairers and paint suppliers collaborate to repair and donate a car to a deserving family. For the surprise, they recruited students from San Joaquin Delta College.
“When we first received the vehicle, it had front-end collision, mostly to the passenger side, the fender was smashed in, it has to be replaced. It had a lot of damage, we had to take dents out and refill them and sand them down and fill them smoothly before we can get it ready to go, paint it,” said Anjou Berry, a student at Delta College.
Four students from the school’s auto body program spent eight weeks working on the 2014 Honda Fit. The students say they gained a lot of experience while getting the vehicle to look brand new again.
“Everything really, the block sanding, painting, mixing colors, dismantling the car, and then putting it all together,” said Cody Rose, a student at Delta College.
The partnership is all about changing lives and for Valencia and her family, its bring them much needed hope.
“Thankful for everything they did because they went out of their way to help us out,” said Valencia.
Valencia said she plans to do a lot with her car including finding a new job and housing.