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Paying it forward: Community helps veteran avoid eviction by fixing roof

Paying it forward—that’s how one veteran lives her life. Now, people are doing the same for her.

Mishawaka veteran Rebekah Mayes needs a new roof or she could be evicted.

She recently received notice that she has a housing code violation.

“We have extreme issues with the roof, and I have a paper from code enforcement that we need a new roof, fascia, and other things that are involved,” said Rebekah Mayes, who is a disabled veteran.

Those other things include scraping and painting the garage and finishing the back of her house. The shingles on her roof are weather-beaten and peeling.

“We’ve been stressing, and John 14:18 says, ‘I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you in your time of need.’ And, my friend Tammi made this happen,” she said.

Her friend Tammi posted on Facebook that she needed new roofing, and she quickly received almost thirty comments from people saying they wanted to help.

“I received a lot of text messages and things that they’re going to donate time, shingles, and labor, and those things are so greatly appreciated—things that I cannot do,” Rebekah said.

That’s because she’s listed as disabled after enduring six hemorrhagic strokes in 2009. After serving in the marines, she worked as a police officer and at the Family & Children’s Center.

“They were stressful occupations, but I held it all in, and as a result, I imploded instead of exploding,” she said.

Now, she has PTSD, seizures, and cognitive impairments—and lives on social security disability.

That means Rebekah can’t afford to pay the $3,000 to fix her roof or the fine she would have to pay if she couldn’t fix it.

“Thousand dollar fine and the city could seize our home, which would leave my daughter and I homeless,” said Rebekah.

Her deadline is October 3. Luckily, she has already received some shingles and numerous offers to come out and help her. They didn’t want to speak on camera, because they said they were just doing what they thought was right and don’t need recognition for it.

“It is awesome that the community is well aware that veterans are there for you. We shed blood, sweat and tears to keep our country free, and we did it not just for us and our families but for everyone,” she said.

She’s hoping that her experience can be an inspiration to people to help others in need.

“I would like to pay it forward to other veterans in need, too, so that they can be blessed as well,” said Rebekah.

If veterans need help of any kind, they can call 3-1-1.

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