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

Small Town Roles

Jorge Reyes, TDHCA

Caption below

Antonia T.; Mayor Cynthia Kirby; and Luis T., Lometa, TX
HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance Program
Photo: Jorge Reyes, TDHCA

People living in small towns play many roles and interact with each other in a lot of ways. A baby you babysat is now your youngest son's junior high school English teacher. Your sworn childhood enemy now picks up your mail anytime you're out of town. The local car mechanic was the head cheerleader you had a crush on during high school. The roles and interactions change but not the people.

Antonia T. and her husband, Luis, purchased a house in Lometa from a neighbor in 1968. They raised eight kids: four boys and four girls. Cynthia Kirby was a third grade teacher who taught all eight of those kids. As time went on, the children grew into adulthood, Ms. Kirby retired from teaching and the house began to fall apart.

In 2012, Antonia and Luis applied to the HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance Program, a program, by the way, she helped the City of Lometa implement during her time on the city council 10 years earlier. Sixteen months later they received the keys to their new home from the Mayor of Lometa, none other than Cynthia Kirby!

"We're a tight knit community," said Mayor Kirby. "I've known Antonia and all her family for a long time and it feels great to be able to help them."

"We're just so happy," continued Antonia. "This is a small town that's not very rich. We all try and help each other any way we can. This program is just one way we do that."

She then added: "Mayor, you need to apply for more funds to help another family!"

Mayor Kirby smiled and said: "I'll get right on it, Antonia!"

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HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance Program