TEXAS CITY — A troubled apartment complex in Texas City has a new person in charge and is getting a fresh start to go along with a fresh coat of paint and other repairs.
A new ministry took over management of what was known as the Timothy Apartments, 5105 Timothy St., in July. With the help and donations from businesses, repairs began on the complex.
Veronica Branch, a pastor at Word of Faith Christian Life Center and executive director of Samaritan Women at the Well, a faith-based nonprofit that provides help to people in crisis, is running the apartment complex.
The complex’s name has changed to The Well and will be integrated into the Samaritan Women at the Well program, but half of the complex will continue to be available for regular tenants, Branch said.
Unlike the previous ministry, the new ministry will not compel tenants to attend religious services, she said. Tenants sign standard leases and just need to keep up with their rent, she said.
Tensions between tenants and the previous landlords erupted in April.
Tenants complained about lack of utilities, overcrowding of apartments and trash on the premise. Meanwhile, Laura and Christopher Propes, the directors of Worthy Ministry, which was running the complex, claimed the problems stemmed from tenants who weren’t paying rent and from the property owner.
The Propes left after the landowner, David Barnes, began eviction proceedings.
Branch said her organization got involved.
“It just grieved me to see the conditions of the apartments that they were living in,” she said. “I was just appalled at how they were living.”
Branch said she worked out an agreement with Barnes and, after raising $10,000 to get the complex out of foreclosure, she took over in June.
Texas City-based Guaranteed Roofing stepped in to sponsor much of the repair work, with donations of materials and labor coming from other companies, she said.
Amber Balderas, an office manger with Guaranteed Roofing, said she and her father, Jeff Prouty, owner of Guaranteed, had been looking for a way to help in the community.
“This was a huge project to take on,” Balderas said.
Guaranteed Roofing has invested more than $16,000 and, counting the labor and donations by other companies, more than $35,000 of repairs were made at the complex, she said.
All the hard work has paid off, tenant Leon Ford said.
He lived at the complex under the previous ministry and left because of the condition of the complex and the problems that seemed to plague the area.
He came back when he heard Branch was taking over managing the apartments, he said.
“It was in real bad shape,” Ford said. “It ain’t nothing like that now.”