Grand Rapids veteran receives new roof, thanks to national campaign

A Vietnam veteran from Wyoming is getting a new roof on his house for free.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. -  It's called the Roof Deployment Project.

Thanks to its existence, a Vietnam veteran from Wyoming is getting a new roof on his house.

West Michigan Roofing, which is an Owens Corning roofing platinum contractor, is coordinating this nationwide endeavor, to show gratitude and honor the veterans who served our country.

The contractors were deployed to the home of Manuel Equivel, who has needed his roof replaced for some time. The company is donating all the roofing materials and labor.

Equivel will have a brand new roof when the work wraps up on Thursday.

"This gives us an opportunity to do something that we're good at and at the same time help the community," said Michael Megna, who is a co-owner of West Michigan Roofing. "We believe in grass roots type assisting, and this qualifies as that.

"[Mr. Equivel] is just not able to take care of [a new roof] himself, so we were brought in through Habitat for Humanity [of Kent County] to help.

"He's a Vietnam veteran who is recovering from a recent surgery, and we're always happy to help the veterans," Megna said.

West Michigan Roofing began the project at 8  a.m. Wednesday. Barring any significant weather delays, they hope to have it finished Thursday afternoon.

For more information on the Roof Deployment Project, or to learn more about how you can get involved, visit: RoofDeploymentProject.com

Editor's note: A previous version of this story indicated that the roof provided to Mr. Equivel was free, however, that is not that case and WZZM 13 received clarification on the matter from Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. Their statement is below:

Habitat for Humanity of Kent County would like to clarify that while we partner closely with homebuyers and homeowners in need of safe, stable, affordable housing to create payment plans that are affordable on a limited income, Habitat programs are not free. The Habitat model is based on a hand up, not a hand out and we rely on the contributions of many – donors, volunteers, and the sweat equity and monthly payments of Habitat homeowners themselves – to achieve our mission. In the case of Habitat Kent’s Veteran Repair program, veteran homeowners repay a portion of total project costs, which helps offset the cost of materials, labor, and/or the running Habitat’s Veteran repair program. In this way, the program participants pay it forward to make this program possible for other participants, and helps Habitat Kent build and repair more homes in Kent County.  Habitat Kent is grateful for our partners like Owens Corning and West Michigan Roofing who donate materials and labor to minimize project costs, allowing Habitat homeowners to pay it forward to the next family and beyond. 

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