Volunteers, circumstance, come together to give woman new home

LIVONIA - A longtime resident of a trailer park in Livonia who asked not to be identified has a new home thanks to a volunteer who was working for his church group and also volunteering for Catholic Charities.

“I was at the point where I was having those conversations where I was like ‘We need to get her out of there,’” said Kelly Hepler, a case worker for Catholic Charities. “... Her electric would be on the fritz and her outlets would be heating up. It was just not a good place for her to be in.”

While Hepler was looking at other housing options, members of a local church group were renovating a trailer for another resident at the trailer park, but the person who was going to call the renovated trailer home died.

As luck would have it, one of the people renovating the trailer was also a volunteer at Catholic Charities and spoke about the situation with Hepler’s boss.

From there, volunteers matched the woman in need of housing up with the church group that had been renovating the trailer and an arrangement was worked out that, essentially, gave the renovated trailer to the woman for free.

“I think people just heard about her situation and just felt the need to be a part of it and help her,” said Hepler.

From September to January, volunteers worked to help make the new trailer a home for this woman that many admit they had never even met before.

“These businesses and individuals donated their time and materials to get the trailer in top shape. This includes roofing, flooring, cabinets, appliances, furniture and more,” said Hepler. “...It was pretty emotional because she had a little bit of hardship in the past and it is just a gift because it came right at around Christmas time.”

While most of the work to renovate the trailer has been completed. Hepler said a new roof still needs to be put on. She said the materials are in but volunteers are waiting until the spring to do the work.

“We did a walk through a couple of weeks ago and she was just so happy and emotional,” said Hepler.

While the women with the new trailer did not want her name used, Hepler said she did convey her thanks to the volunteers and everyone else who made her new living arrangement possible.

“She states that she is very grateful for all the hard work they put in to her new home,” recounted Hepler. “She considers those that helped put this all together angels sent from heaven. She thanks them from her heart to theirs for giving her an opportunity to start over in this beautiful new home that she adores.”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1