WASHINGTON - The men living in a D.C. veterans home will stay dry this weekend when the big snowstorm arrives in the D.C. area. But that was not always the case.
FOX 5 first brought you their story last summer when the Southeast Veterans Service Center was under construction for months. Until recently, every time it rained or snowed, the roof leaked leaving wet spots inside the building.
Ahead of the big winter storm, that problem and many more have been fixed including floors, pipes and bathrooms.
“I was amazed when they replaced the roof,” said James Morris. “No more leaks during rainstorms or melting snow.”
He is one of more than 50 veterans living at the veteran center. The former Air Force veteran is thankful a roof repair made the cut ahead of the anticipated snowstorm.
“It makes me feel welcomed home, more than just saying, ‘Welcome home,’” said Morris.
Back in August, construction projects were abandoned. Veterans living here were coming home to exposed piping, faulty bathrooms and newspaper covering unfished floors.
“Give Channel 5 a little pat on the back … and I'm pretty sure that people as yourself had an impact, so on behalf of the other vets, thank you,” said John Cade.
The retired Marine said after FOX 5’s story aired last summer, funding poured in.
“It's helped us to renovate the floors, do a couple of improvements to our bathrooms and we've been doing those in phases,” said Greg Crawford, executive director of the Southeast Veterans Service Center. “As the funding is released, we've been making the improvements – with more improvements to come.”
He also added, “Other things like painting the hallways and the doors were done through volunteers that we had come through and different organizations. We're not done with these improvements. We'd like to take this into the rooms where we can upgrade the floors in the rooms.”
Even so, Mother Nature never waits.
Renovations at the Southeast Veterans Service Center should be complete in two months. But at least for the impending snowstorm, residents here will remain dry.
Staff is reportedly spending the night at the facility this weekend in preparation for the storm.