John’s home on the corner will stay in the family for even longer, thanks to a new roof and other updates
Above: Homeowner John (right) and his son Al got to know the Habitat staff and volunteers who made repairs on John’s home, including installing a new roof, storm windows, and doors.
John raised his three sons and three daughters in his single story, two-bedroom home in northwest Denver. His
children played across the street in Paco Sanchez Park while growing up, and built memories with other families in the neighborhood.
When a hail storm battered the home’s aging roof recently, John’s insurance only covered a partial repair. He got new insurance, but the firm canceled as soon as they learned about the damaged roof. John’s retirement income wasn’t enough to pay for the new roof he needed.
“It was impossible for us to replace it on our own,” shares Al, John’s eldest son who is disabled and lives with him. “We don’t have much of an income.”
Above: Homeowner John, born and raised in Colorado, and who has lived sin West Denver since the 19060s
Then, Al learned about Habitat Metro Denver’s Home Repair program through his own volunteer work with Veterans Green Jobs, which helps military veterans find work in the community. In addition to putting a new roof on John’s home, Habitat staff and volunteers installed new gutters, and added new eves and downspouts to ensure water runoff wouldn’t cause any issues, shares Al. The Habitat crews replaced John’s north facing window with a storm window, put in a new front door, repaired the back door, and replaced the slanted sidewalk next to the house that used to funnel water into the basement.
“The back door was so loose that the wall moved when you shut the door,” shares Al. “Now, everything feels more secure and shielded from weather.”
“The house looks better and stayed warmer in the winter. My dad and I are so grateful,” said Al.
Habitat’s Home Repair program engages Habitat staff and volunteers to make critical repairs that improve homeowners’ comfort, safety, and security. Projects often include energy-saving updates, such as new doors and storm windows, like what was added to John’s home. All repair updates ensure longtime homeowners can remain in their homes and neighborhoods for longer, preventing displacement.
John grew up in Trinidad, Colorado, but his family moved to Denver when the Trinidad coal mines closed in the 1960s. He got a job repairing and delivering furniture and bought his home in 1979. At that time, John paid $265 a month for the mortgage on the modest house on the corner lot.
“The house was a good deal for us, better than paying rent,” shares Al, who remembers that his he and his two brothers slept in the basement, and their three sisters shared the second bedroom.
“The house looks much better now and it stayed warmer in the winter,” shares Al. “My dad and I are so grateful”
Above: Al, Joh’s son, who baked cookies and banana bread for the Habitat staff and volunteers.