Imagine living in a mobile home without light or water.

There are animals digging in the front yard every day. Now imagine not being able to hear anything in that living situation.

That is life for 62-year-old Charlene Gonzalez in Placitas, who is deaf.

For months, Gonzalez was without running water and light in her mobile home. She has also been trying to improve the home and land she owns, but can’t afford big changes to make her home safe.

To commemorate the grant approval, Gonzalez was presented with a United States Flag by State USDA officials.

“Many times I would be cleaning up my yard and neighbors would offer to help. But then often they wouldn’t help me even after they said that they would so that I would just do it all myself,” she said. 

Fortunately, Gonzalez was eligible for the rehabilitation grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development department.

The program allows older homeowners to receive aid to rehabilitate their home. It grants people $10 thousand to begin with. Then if homeowners still need more they can become eligible for a $40 thousand  grant with a one percent interest rate for 20 years.

The goal with Gonzalez’s home, however, was to make it safer for her to live in. The grant helps limit the hazards that disabled homeowners might have on their property.

Gonzalez was able to put up a fence to keep animals out and has been able to pay more of her bills like her water bill with the grant money. She has more changes on the way.

“I just want to be able to live peacefully in my home,” she said.