Program Offers Free Roofing In Gregg County - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/29/04 - Longview

Program Offers Free Roofing In Gregg County

For many elderly and economically disadvantaged people, making the most basic home repairs is sometimes financially impossible.  However, a new program in Gregg County is trying to help keep the roof over their heads. Austin Bank and the Dallas based Center for Housing Resources are putting new roofs on homes for elderly and disabled people who can't afford it.

"Feels great to be able to help out the disabled, elderly, these people have bad leaks in their house.  It's good that there's people out here to help in time of need," says volunteer Derek Stewart. 72 year old Josie Derrick had owned the same trailer home for 35 years and it never had a new roof. As a  cancer patient, she lacked funds to ever make repairs, but applied to the roofing program and was approved.

"For our bank to be involved in the communities needs, and this is just one way that we can help do this.  She needed a new roof and was unable to fund it herself," says Austin Bank representative Margie Wright. While Derrick is hospitalized with pneumonia, volunteers pitched in and put a new roof on her place, around a $2500 value. Her closest friend, who also happened to be her ex-husband, says she'll be overjoyed.

"I'm proud for her, I've been trying to get it done for ten years but I wasn't able to get it done, she'd love to be here now, cause she'd make me shut up if she was," says ex-husband Leon Robinson.

Twelve homes have already been repaired in Gregg County. If you'd like to know how to qualify or how to help, you're asked to call Austin Bank of Longview.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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