Wexford-Osceola Habitat for Humanity Helps Replace Veteran’s Aging Roof

Wexford-Osceola Habitat for Humanity was able to finally fulfill a need for a local veteran—a new roof.

Img 4542Evart resident and veteran Ronald Oles contacted Habitat last fall when he found out he needed a roof replacement.

“I have a hole on the backside and the rest was getting pretty worn,” Oles said. “They came out and looked at it and said, you need a new one, but it was $5,000. I couldn’t afford it.”

Executive Director Amy Gibbs said that was around the same time they became a veteran build affiliate. They were going to get the materials and contractors last year to come out and help Oles.

“There’s a program through Habitat International where Owens Corning steps up and pays for all the materials that are needed and then they send a preferred contractor,” Gibbs said. “So we had that all set up and we were in the process of getting that going.”

But in March, when COVID-19 hit, it was hard to get materials and contractors couldn’t work.

“It’s just the waiting,” Oles said. “It’s like you worry about are you going to get more damage inside? Or are you going to have structural damage on the walls?”

Gibbs was not giving up.

“I went ahead and continued to work on the project and reached out to numerous different places,” she said. “Lowe’s out of Big Rapids chose to support our project, so they donated all the materials and then they have a team of Lowe’s heroes that are helping us out with the project.”

Ten volunteers came out to replace Oles’ roof on Monday.

“We love to serve all people,” Gibbs said. “We really love to serve veterans as well. They have served our country, so if we can do our work and help them out, then it’s just a great way we are able to serve veterans.”

Oles was humbled by the experience.

“I hardly can come up with words for it,” he said. “It’s just such a relief. Just don’t have to worry about any of it no more.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Michigan This Morning