Members of the Housing Authority of the City of Del Rio staff, including executive director Isidro Valdez Fernandez, join Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano, Housing Authority commissioners Belinda Horton and Ana Markowski Smith and Walmart Store Manager Mary Rose Jimenez at the San Jose Housing Development for the unveiling of San Jose’s new computer lab.

Residents of the Housing Authority of the City of Del Rio’s San Jose Housing Development have a new computer lab for schoolwork, GED classes and job searches, thanks to a donation from Walmart.

The new lab, featuring three computer work stations and a printer, was unveiled Friday at the San Jose Housing Development Office in south Del Rio.

“This is something that will have a great impact on our San Jose community,” Isidro Valdez Fernandez, Housing Authority executive director, said as he welcomed those attending Friday’s event.

Fernandez recognized Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano, Housing Authority commissioners Belinda Horton and Ana Markowski Smith and Walmart Store Manager Mary Rose Jimenez.

Fernandez said the new computer lab was made possible by a $2,000 grant given to the housing authority by Walmart after housing authority staff decided to apply for the monies.

Fernandez said since the grant was to be used for educational purposes, he and his staff decided to create a computer lab for the San Jose Housing Development.

Housing authority staffers then built the work stations where the computers and printer would be placed and painted the wall behind the stations with a bold graphic pattern.

He said the development of the computer lab reflects the housing authority’s board of commissioners vision “to build a platform to improve the quality of life so that tenants can become self-sufficient.”

“Not only housing, but what else are we doing for them? This is one of the things we’re doing,” Fernandez said.

He said the computer lab will serve three purposes, the first of which is the development’s after-school tutorial program.

“Now they have a beautiful place where they can come, Monday through Thursday, to meet with the tutorial program coordinator, Mr. Jesus Frausto, and he can assist them with their homework and projects, and now they will also have access to computers,” Fernandez said.

The computer lab will also be used in the housing authority’s partnership program with Southwest Texas Junior College for GED classes at San Jose.

Finally, he said, the lab may be used for residents seeking employment, giving members of the 157 families that live at San Jose chances to update their resumes, to research jobs and to fill out applications online.

Fernandez also introduced the members of the housing authority team that assisted in making the computer lab a reality.

“This is an amazing achievement for San Jose. I really commend all of you for taking the initiative to give back to some of the socio-economically challenged members of our community, and I also appreciate Walmart for all of the collaborative efforts that we have been able to accomplish. This is a great community-building effort,” Lozano said after Fernandez completed his presentation.

Jimenez said after the event it is important for Walmart to support projects like the computer lab.

“Our company is always looking for projects to support within our communities. This is a big priority for the company, to give back to the community. Customers shop at Walmart, and this is a way of us giving back,” Jimenez said.

She called the computer lab “really awesome” and appreciated the invitation for her and members of her leadership team to see the finished results.

“This is the first time that someone has shown us exactly where the money has gone. I have goosebumps seeing what they’ve done,” she added.

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