Spencer Solves It: There’s help for veterans still dealing with winter storm damage

Spencer Solves It: Low-income veterans in need of home repairs
Spencer Solves It: Low-income veterans in need of home repairs

HOUSTON – The February storm of 2021 covered much of Texas under a blanket of snow and ice causing billions of dollars in storm damage. Many people called their insurance companies and began repairs, but those who could not are still dealing with the damage.

“So the water comes out here, it comes out through the cracks,” said Roy Miles, a Navy veteran. “The water pipes burst all over the place.”

“We had buckets to try to catch the water, but it was moving too fast,” explains Shirley Miles.

“It’s absolutely despicable at how we have to live like this,” said veteran’s wife Joann Parks.

“I can’t fix the roof anymore, I can’t fix the ceiling, I can’t fix the water pipes,” explains Carl Parks, United States Army veteran, 101st Airborne Division.

Carl was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division and Roy was an aircraft mechanic in the United States Navy. Both men served our country and are now on a fixed income.

After the storm, there wasn’t any money or insurance to make repairs to their busted pipes and water-ravaged homes. So both men and their families did without.

“They can’t wash their clothes, they can’t do the dishes, they can’t bathe,” said Heather Luckey, Parks’ granddaughter.

“It was horrible because I have grandchildren,” explains Shirley Miles, “And of course, my kids couldn’t go to the bathroom, cause we had no water.”

All that changed because of Rebuilding Together Houston. The charitable group has enlisted community volunteers and licensed contractors to repair the homes of low-income seniors, veterans, and homeowners with disabilities for almost 40 years.

Right now, they are taking applications from military veterans like Parks and Miles and repairing their storm-damaged homes absolutely free.

“The winter storm repairs include stopping all leaks and returning water service to the house, that’s the main thing,” said Christine Holland, CEO of Rebuilding Together.

The work also includes removing water-damaged materials, drying the area out, and replacing damaged sheetrock.

Crews came in and repaired the damage for Parks and Miles. It’s been a long time coming -- and something both families really needed to get done.

“Thank you,” said Carl Parks. “I really, truly appreciate it.”

For Carl Parks and Roy Miles, it’s badly-needed help when they need it the most, and a gentle reminder, we really do “thank you for your service.”

“Oh, I love them! They had a team of volunteers come out, they are wonderful and they did an excellent job!” said Roy Miles.

All repairs completed by Rebuilding Together are at NO COST to the homeowner. Rebuilding Together will not put a lien on your property. Rebuilding Together staff and contractors will never ask you for money. Crews can also help build wheelchair ramps for homeowners.

More information – Send an email to: intake@rebuildinghouston.org or call (713) 659-2511. This number is a place to call if you need help but also if you would like to donate to the foundation.

About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.