DENVER — A family that fell through the cracks needed more than a helping hand to get back up. They needed a HazMat team.
Two months ago, Denver7 Gives found the Gines family living in a motel with eight special needs children, including Selena, who is on daily dialysis after two kidney transplants. Their family was being forced to separate, with three children staying with a friend.
"I don't think any mother should be separated from their kids," Bernadette Gines said. "We need help."
Denver7 Gives viewers answered the call for help, donating enough money for a temporary apartment, and that was just the beginning.
"Lots of situations like this people don't know where to start and that's a big part of what we do," said Donnie Lamirande, with Rocky Mountain Biohazard. "We're so happy to step up and help out."
The crew at Rocky Mountain Biohazard went to work to clean up an old sewage leak, mold and years of deferred maintenance in the home the Gines family inherited.
After ten days of work and five dumpsters, the home is safe for volunteers to do more work inside.
"We are going to gut the entire house and start fresh," said Jason Wardrip with the Colorado Building and Construction Trades Council, who said he and his volunteers will start the remodel this weekend. "Eight kids don't have a place to live. It's kind of a big deal. It kind of gets me excited and maybe a little emotional."
The children are driving all of the volunteers, including education advocate Dawn Stuart, who is helping get the family connected with services and support they should have had years ago.
"This family fell through the cracks," said Stuart. "Hopefully, getting the children on social security will help the family take care of kids, pay bills, keep a roof over their head."
Stuart had worried the family would be separated, and that it would have been difficult to place the special needs children.
"This family is dedicated to each other," said Stuart. "They need to stay together."
Bernadette Gines said she will now wait to go inside the home until the remodel is complete, and she can't wait to see the changes.
"Everything is different," she said. "We can't thank everyone enough."
Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.