Family of 12 turns tractor-trailer into makeshift home
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 05:21:32 GMT —
A family with 10 children in Hidalgo County are trying to make ends meet.
"Tell me about your situation?" Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked Belia Moya, mother.
"It's just that we started from scratch," she said. "We started all over. We started with a house and then we ended up with no house."
Belia claims constant fighting with a neighbor over her kids and animals drove her to uproot the family about a month ago and move them into a friend's tractor-trailer once used for storage.
It sits next to her mother-in-law's mobile home in rural Hidalgo County.
Action 4 News agrees to keep the exact location private because of their fears of Child Protective Services stepping in.
"Do you feel this is safe for the children?" Ryan asked. "Oh yes," the mother said. "That's why they're always inside so it's safe for them. There's nothing that's going to harm them."
Belia's husband works in the truck driving industry.
They're saving up money to build a home on the property.
Sergio Marquez is forced to take on a parental role at age 14.
He's the oldest boy.
"Are you ready?" Sergio said to Ryan as he helped him up a ladder into the tractor-trailer.
Sergio gives Ryan a tour inside the make-shift home where 7 of his siblings sleep.
The youngest is age 1.
"This is where the girls sleep," he pointed out. "And this is where the boys sleep. And my mom sleeps there with the baby."
There's a small heater on the floor to keep the family warm.
Donated blankets are piled up on top of mattresses.
A small television and DVD player help with entertainment.
The electronics, including one sole light perched in the air, are powered by a network of extension cords that run from the mother-in-law's trailer where 2 older children also sleep.
Another child is away at school.
"I see a Christmas tree in the tractor-trailer... Does that help keep your spirits up?" Ryan asked Sergio.
"Yes," he responded. He went on to say, "Knowing that we don't have a house... we can still celebrate the holidays the same way."
A blue tarp separates the storage area at the front of the tractor-trailer.
All the cooking is done outdoors.
Noticeably absent is any sign of a restroom.
"We have a self-made shower back there where they heat up the water to take a shower or we take them to their grandfather's house to take a shower there," Belia said.
"What about the bathroom?" Ryan asked her.
"There is no bathroom right now," she answered.
They TMre hoping to get help with building one as soon as possible.
"You do realize how shocking it is to see your family, a family of this size or any family for that matter, living in these kinds of conditions?" Ryan said to Belia.
"Well, it's shocking to some but you have to know that every person has their own beliefs and their own ways of living so for us the kids are happy and that means I'm happy."
They're happy but hoping for a better future soon.
The family certainly has enough love to fill any home.
Monetary donations are being collected at any IBC Bank under the name Minerva Marquez which includes account #2512750779.
The family can be reached directly by calling (956) 458-0957 under the name Belia Moya.
They provided the following clothing sizes and ages for their children:
GIRL: (18) pants size 7, shirt medium, shoes 7
BOY: (14) pants size 29x34, shirt medium, shoes 10
GIRL: (13) pants size 16, shirt large, shoes 8
GIRL: (11) pants size 12, shirt medium, shoes 6.5
BOY: (9) pants size 7, shirt medium, shoes 5
BOY: (5) pants size 5T, shirt 5/6, shoes, 4.5
TWIN GIRLS: (4) pants size 5T, shirt 5T, shoes 11
BOY: (1) clothes size 2T, shoes 5/6.