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Jose and Delsy Ferrer spent 30 years paying off their Hialeah home. A few months ago, the couple lost their home after an electrical fire.
“Well, what can I say, we lost everything,” Jose said. “We lost everything.”
Back in February, NBC 6 Responds shared the Ferrers’ story as they tried to rebuild their house. The city of Hialeah has a fund set up that allows families in the area to use the money in the rebuilding process, but this family did not qualify because their house is a duplex.
With no insurance or money for the rebuild, they said they were hoping for a miracle.
“No, I don’t have another home. No, I don’t have anything,” Jose said.
All the way in Broward County, the mayor, Mark Bogen, was watching NBC 6 that day and he said he was moved by the family’s story.
“That’s what we want to do, we want to make miracles happen,” Mayor Bogen said.
Mayor Bogen wanted to find a solution to this family’s problem. He went with Mark Blanchard, the vice president of the engineering firm, AECOM, to visit the home.
“I said, let’s reach out, let me reach out to the engineering, construction industry, let me see what we can do,” said Blanchard. “We reached out to the Florida Panthers, their foundation.”
A few months later, a group was assembled to help the family. Bogen, Blanchard and the other businessmen said they raised enough money to fix the Ferrer home.
“This is really an example of [what] America is all about, you know,” Jose said. “We [are] all helping each other at the right time.”
Combined, the group donated more than $50,000 to rebuild the family’s house.
“What caught my attention when my friend Mark Blanchard mentioned this to me is the fact that they had just paid off their home,” said Rudy Ortiz from CES Consultants Inc. “I, too, come from humble beginnings and I couldn’t simply stand by without providing the support I think they’re going to need.”
The couple and their daughter were overjoyed and brought to tears.
“[I’m] extremely overwhelmed, I can’t believe this is actually happening,” the Ferrer’s daughter said.
Delsy may speak Spanish only, but the President of the Florida Panthers, Matt Caldwell, said he didn’t need to hear her translations.
“It’s extremely emotional I didn’t even have to understand her words,” Caldwell said. “I can just feel her love and affection and appreciation of everything so. Now we got to get to work.”
The engineers and contractors are not the only ones working on this project. The Pier Sixty-Six Hotel and Marina is taking care of the interior of the home as well.
“Bedroom sets and living room sets, and all that, we are going to go ahead and help with that,” Amaury Piedra, manager of Pier Sixty-Six Hotel and Marina, said.
Before they all start working on the house, they first need to secure the permits to start construction. The City of Hialeah said this will be a priority.
“We are going to make sure we work through those plans and the inspections as soon as possible to get this family back in here,” Carlos Hernandez, Hialeah Mayor, said.
While NBC 6 showed the community making a difference, Jose said he will never forget this day.
“It’s big, big beautiful people everybody, it’s incredible, it’s incredible,” Jose said. “I never forget that.”
Other companies helping to rebuild the couple’s home include Bogen Law Group, Lasarte Law Firm, Port of Miami Tunnel, Stiles Corporation, The Rubin Group, John M. Milledge, Esq., 300 Engineering Group, Program Controls Inc., LSN Partners, LLC, The Corradino Group, HBC Engineering Co. and MOSS Construction.