Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

A New Day to Begin Again

Jorge Reyes, TDHCA, 4/15/2010

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John Casto, McAllen, TX
Texas Bootstrap Loan Program
Photo: Jorge Reyes, TDHCA

John Casto is writing his autobiography. It’s titled “A New Day to Begin Again” and it recounts his experiences of being a ward of the state as a child. “I went out on my own at 16 and did most of the stupid things people do at a young age. I didn’t know any better. But along the way I managed to get my GED and learn a trade. I’m writing my autobiography to help kids who are going through the same things I went through growing up in children’s homes and foster care. Kids who think they don’t have anybody; I want them to keep believing in themselves.”

John now has what he didn’t have growing up, a family. He has a wife he met while traveling in Mexico and two beautiful kids. And the one thing he thought he’d never have; his own home. “I always dreamed of having my own home, my own yard, my own family.” Thanks to Habitat for Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley and the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program, John, with the help of some volunteers, literally built his own dream home.

“I was exciting to build my own home! I thought it was awesome because I never knew I would ever get a home! Now I can give my kids everything I never had. My son and daughter have a family I always dreamed of having. They have their own yard and their own home. They don’t have to live in apartments and move around all the time. They can call it their own. It’s exciting. It’s a dream come true.”

There was one more benefit to becoming a homeowner. “Getting the home I always dreamed of makes a great ending for my autobiography.”

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