Luis’s Story

Luis Vargas stands in front of the House of Neighborly Service just across the street from where Vargas grew up.

One June 14, 2019, The Rivard Report published an article about our Capital Campaign, featuring the story of Luis Vargas – HNS alumnus and the lead architect on our rehabilitation project. Below is an excerpt from this article. You can read the full story here. Photo courtesy of The Rivard Report.


Luis Vargas spent most of his childhood in a community center in the Prospect Hill neighborhood on San Antonio’s West Side. In between basketball, summer camps, and after-school programs, it became like a second home to him. Now he is back to help the community that helped raise him as the project manager in charge of redesigning a century-old building.

The nonprofit House of Neighborly Service (HNS) and Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church partner to provide family support and child development programs, senior care, and food distribution in a shared space. The last time the community center, located at 407 N. Calaveras, was redesigned was in 1929.

After all those years of use, the disrepair began to mount: roofs leaked, plumbing broke down, and air conditioning gave out. And the population it serves keeps growing. Rev. Rob Mueller of Divine Redeemer Church mentored Vargas in his youth and kept his name in mind when the church and HNS began renovation plans after an electrical inspection revealed several issues with the building.

Read full article

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