Non-profit repairs tornado victim's home

April 18, 2012 2:17:49 PM PDT
An elderly Navy veteran has been out of his home for almost a year because of last April's deadly tornadoes, but thanks to a local non-profit organization, he will soon be moving back in.

A tree fell on John Snipes Jr.'s Raleigh home. While insurance paid for tree removal, it did not cover needed repairs to the large hole in the roof or the damaged windows and siding.

"All the funds went to removing the tree, and there wasn't anything left to repair the property," Snipes said.

The hole went unrepaired for months, until Rebuilding Together of the Triangle stepped in.

"We're a non-profit that provides renovations to the homes of low-income homeowners in a four county area of the Triangle," Board Secretary Evelyn Contre said.

The local Triangle chapter typically completes around 30 projects a year. Because Rebuilding Together is a large national organization, repairs are not limited to homes devastated by natural disasters. Typically corporate sponsors and volunteers help weatherize homes, make disability modifications and do repairs for residents in need.

Now, the organization will be able to specifically help those who were affected in April's tornadoes thanks to a $30,000 grant from Sears.

For John, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle will provide long-awaited repairs, along with insulation, as well as taking measures to make the home more energy efficient.

Snipes' home has been one of their bigger projects. They started on the roof in January and moved on the siding in February, and now they're doing some last minute touches on the outside, before moving on to some work on the inside.

It's work that Snipes said he is grateful for.

"Very fortunate, pleased, excited and glad that they have programs like this," Snipes said.

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