Fayette County, TX – Lone Star Legal Aid is fighting to save the home of Ms. Sharelle Wright from effectively being foreclosed upon by the same non-profit that helped build it for her.

Ms. Wright is a single mother with 6 children whose previous home was badly damaged during Hurricane Harvey when a tree smashed the roof and rained destroyed the interior. Since the storm, Ms. Wright and her family have struggled to find stability. Made homeless by the hurricane, they’ve relied upon friends and family for a place to live, all while Ms. Wright struggled to keep her children enrolled in the same schools they attended before the storm.

Ms. Wright sought out help from her community and a local non-profit and Fayette County Disaster Recovery Team (FCDRT) offered to coordinate with the Mennonite Church to have a new home built on Ms. Wright’s land for free. After the house was completed this past March, however, FCDRT went back on its agreement. It demanded that Ms. Wright pay FCDRT $68,000 and give it a lien on her land that would allow it to take both the house and her land if she missed a payment on the debt.

Shocked at this sudden about-face, Ms. Wright sought legal help from Lone Star Legal Aid. In early April, FCDRT filed a lawsuit against Ms. Wright, and got a restraining order issued against her, without her knowledge. The order prevented Ms. Wright and her family from being able to move into their home. This restraining order put extra pressure on Ms. Wright, as she and her large family were then living in a cramped 2 bed motel room.

Wright’s home is not taken from her. On April 17th, Lone Star Legal Aid attorneys Amir Befroui and Christina Brown convinced Fayette County District Judge Steinhauser to dissolve the restraining order and allow Ms. Wright and her family to move in to their home. “Nothing about this situation passes the ‘smell test’” says Befroui. “We plan to get to the bottom of what has happened, and help Ms. Wright and her family stabilize their lives.”

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well-being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, and how to apply for legal services, visit our website at www.lonestarlegal.org.

Media contact: Clarissa Ayala, cayala@lonestarlegal.org.