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Jaylan Gray’s money was stolen by a contractor. His house in Texas was repaired by volunteers

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News Tech: Two years ago, Jaylan Gray’s mother passed away from a blood condition, leaving him and his brother, who was then 10 years old, all alone in their Texas home.

Finally, this year’s catastrophic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without power for days, caused pipes in their three-bedroom home near Houston to burst. The attic rapidly began to leak water into the house, quickly saturating and ruining the ceilings, walls, and floors.

Gray, 22, whose stepfather had passed away several years before, claimed that she had advised him not to sell the house before she passed away. She wanted us to live there because my mother and stepfather had paid for it.

In order to make repairs, Gray engaged a contractor. However, the contractor, according to Gray, punched holes in every wall of the house before fleeing with roughly $20,000. Gray lacked the means to pursue the case.

“I couldn’t keep up – it was just too much,” Gray said of the home, which is in Katy. “I couldn’t afford the repairs.

Overwhelmed, Gray and her brother, Julian Nicholson, moved across town to live with their grandmother. But Julian had to change schools and both wanted to return to the house where they had lived with their parents. “We were really grateful to him, but I always wanted to bring Julian back to the house we grew up in, so he could play football at the same school as me,” Gray said.

“I want to make sure he doesn’t get in trouble and that things will go as well as possible for him at school,” he added. Gray, who was enrolled in college, quit taking classes and got a job with an auto inspection company to help pay the bills and raise his brother.

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“Julian has become my priority,” Gray said of her brother, who is now 12 and entering seventh grade. “I promised my mom I would take care of him and the house, so I dropped out of college.” This farmer supplies his town with fresh produce. He is 12 years old.

“It was just heartbreaking to find out what these two had been through,” said Kevin Duty, 56. “For Jaylan, it was unimaginable to have to take on so much at such a young age.” Duty contacted the association’s executive director, Ron Peters, and informed him.

Then, in the spring, Kevin and Michelle Duty, who volunteer with the community nonprofit Katy Responds – which helps rebuild homes after natural disasters – heard from a friend about the brothers’ situation. “I wanted my brother to feel loved and loved,” he said, adding that he had no idea what he was going to do with the damaged house, but decided he wouldn’t. wasn’t going to give up.

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