FOUNTAIN, Mich. — Joseph Riker of Fountain, Michigan is thanking his community for helping to build him a new home.
In 2014, Riker was on his way home from work when his car was hit from behind on US 10 between Ludington and Scottville, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury.
The injury impacted Riker's ability to work and in turn, pay the bills for his massive home on 40 acres of land.
He soon began staying on a property on Manales Road with a run-down trailer on it. Then Riker’s friends banded together to build him a new home.
They completed the home about two months after breaking ground, and Riker was able to spend winter in his very own log cabin.
And now, he wants to say thank you to everyone involved.
“I’m a loss for words because I’ve never heard of anybody doing what they did true for me like Daniel Ray did. I know I don't ask for a lot of help from anybody,” Riker said.
Riker’s dog Jackson sits comfortably on the couch next to a flower garden, a new hobby inspired by friends.
The ADA compliant home boasts two bedrooms, a large bathroom and an open concept layout with zero barriers, making it more comfortable to navigate.
“It's been challenging but it's been the greatest reward. The more my mobility has come into question and the more difficult things have gotten, it's made me dig in and fight harder against this,” Riker said.
More than two dozen contractors and tradespeople, many of them members of the Amish community, worked on the log cabin paying for materials like luxury vinyl plank flooring and high-end tile out of their own pockets.
“They did that with the support of their families to their children and their spouses,” Riker said.
Riker says their generosity saved his life.
“I can't imagine if I were in that trailer with the snow blowing through the ductwork or critters in the walls. Health-wise, it was disparaging and a negative place to exist in, it wasn't really good for my personal wellbeing,” Riker said.
There are so many people who helped make this happen, and to them, Riker has this to say.
“Thank you and I love you.”
This log cabin means everything and more.
Riker says this experience has reminded him that if you live with positivity and kindness in your heart, blessings will return to you.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help him pay for utilities and other expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.
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