LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It's one of the best Christmas gifts anyone could receive, and she didn't even ask for it.
A Longview woman on disability hasn't been able to get her home up to specs, so when a CODE officer noticed it he decided to help rather than issue a citation.
So he got the ball rolling on a new roof for free.
Patsy Owens lost her husband a couple years ago and her home fell into disrepair.
"I've worked hard for everything I've got. It may not be much to others but it's a lot to me," Owens said.
So when Longview CODE Compliance Officer Kenneth James spotted her house he had to take a closer look.
"She had holes in the roof and shingles missing and water coming in her house," James said.
Her roof was no match for recent torrential rain.
"She had pots and pans all over the house collecting the water," James revealed.
Owens said she's been trying to make ends meet.
"I'm trying the darndest to do the best I can," Owens said.
So instead of issuing a fine she couldn't afford to pay, James got in touch with Sgt. Chip Koepke. They had worked together on more than 50 homes in Longview.
"He had come to me on this one and said that she really didn't have the means to fix the violations and do the repairs on the house," Koepke recalled.
He called a former co-worker who is now a professional roofer.
"Find out if they did any kind of charity work and he said yeah they did," Koepke explained.
Jon Hopkins was then contacted.
"We decided to get involved," Hopkins said.
Of course, it didn't happen overnight, but initial contact with Owens was only about two months earlier.
"It's a blessing. I thank the Lord for it because if it wasn't for the man above; he answered my prayer," Owens said through tears.
"If it gets her through Christmas without having pots and pans catching rain then we've done our job," Hopkins smiled.
And now Santa can land on it.
"It's just amazing that there are a lot of good people out there," Owens said.
Owens covered her mouth to hold back the tears when she realized she wouldn't have to put pots and pans down anymore to catch water leaking in from the roof.
She just wanted what we all want: a roof over our heads.
There is still work to do on Owens' house. She has problems with her windows and a backyard that needs to be cleaned up. To help, call Longview CODE Compliance at 903-237-2760.