When My Kids Went to Brooke

Another former East Austin resident shares her story

by Hermalinda Aros

Most of my life was in East Austin, near Town Lake. I was born and raised in East Austin until I was ten years old. Then I moved an hour away to Lockhart, Texas and lived there until I was twenty. After getting married, I moved back to East Austin with my husband and we began our family there. When my mother passed away, my family and I moved back into the house she owned on Diaz Street. My four children grew up in that same house, attended Brooke Elementary, and stayed there until they were all about twenty or twenty-one. Growing up, my kids walked to their elementary school all together because it was easy access for them to get to and from school. The community was very close; everyone looked out for each other, and kept an eye on each other’s homes  and families. 

Now that I look back, the neighborhood I remember is no longer the same.  There are all types of restaurants owned by different people. The HEB finally has access to healthy food even though before, we had to drive way across town to get healthy food to eat. There is no parking anywhere. Now you must take buses to get around when before, you could park and walk and only one or two buses would come through. Brooke Elementary is closing now due to low enrollment, because so many families are having to leave outside of Austin just to be able to afford housing.

The community is no longer the same. All the families that used to live there are now gone. Their houses were torn down, and new ones built in their places. When I go down to my old street, I don’t recognize it anymore. We were pushed out due to the taxes being so high. Now, we have been forced to move to a brand-new community, far from where we came. We are now living in South Austin in a new environment, having had to start and make a new home while hoping what happened in East Austin does not happen over here. Who knows? Austin is always changing.

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