Roofing industry professionals from around the county again arrived early in Las Vegas for the 2017 International Roofing Expo to do a little manual labor that will leave its mark in the city long after the show concludes.
Roughly three dozen roofing contractors, company executives and trade organization leaders spanning across multiple segments of the roofing industry volunteered through main sponsor Sika Sarnafil to help improve two homes in disrepair in nearby Henderson as part of the eighth annual IRE Community Service Day.
The group left their hotels on buses provided by Damato Enterprises shortly after 7 a.m. and started rolling up their sleeves to help homeowners referred to event organizers by Rebuilding Together of Southern Nevada. Since 1994, the local non-profit has helped refurbish the homes of residents age 60 or older, military veterans, or multi-generational households with small children in and around Las Vegas.
Fueled with breakfast provided by Georgia Pacific and lunch by OMG Roofing Products, the volunteers used tools and equipment provided by Carlisle Syntec Systems and CentiMark to complete a wide range of renovations to help low-income seniors who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford much-needed improvements.
The homes are about a mile away from each other and roughly a 15-minute drive from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, the host site of IRE 2017.
Somphone Hughes immigrated to the United States from Laos in 1980 and worked as a babysitter for years. She married in 1981 and raised a daughter in the same house she’s lived in for more than three decades. At age 69, it’s become increasingly difficult for Hughes to manage the maintenance required on her home, especially on the limited Social Security income since her husband’s death in 2006.
A crew installed a new HVAC unit for the house prior to the event. In addition, volunteers on Tuesday helped:
- Install ¾ in rock to left side of front yard
- Install “chat” to driveway portion of yard
- Paint the home’s exterior different colors
- Remove dead trees
- Remove old broken wooden fence
- Install new wooden fence (4x4 posts concreted in with 8ft panels)
- Replace southern gate post and added slats
- Install new mailbox
“I feel so happy and blessed. It’s bringing tears to my eyes,” said Hughes, as volunteers worked away on her property. “This is a very special day.”
A few blocks away, the roofing group was responsible for another significant transformation at the home of Jocelyn Sims and Yvonne Harris. They moved to Nevada from Cincinnati, Ohio in 1978 and worked hard to buy a home in Henderson, a community located just south of Las Vegas, two years later. They were the first homeowners to move into the U.S. Home Corporation's Summerfield Development in 1980; Lot 1, Block 1, and said they were thankful for the privilege of home ownership.
Harris’ career in mortgage banking and Sims’ work in accounts receivables enabled them to add to the small square footage of their three-bedroom tract home and maintain it throughout the years. However, like so many, the economic downturn in 2008 affected their finances and inevitably their home.
As time marched on, it became increasingly difficult for them to meet the challenges of regular home maintenance and safety improvements.
The decaying shingle roof atop the home was replaced prior to the event by D&L Roofing of Las Vegas with materials donated by ABC Supply Co. In addition, volunteers also helped:
- Paint the home’s exterior
- Trim tree and bushes in front yard
- Pull all weeds, then spray to prevent new growth
- Repair an irrigation system
- Replace a broken patio swing
“The work the volunteers are doing is critical,” said Bob Cleveland, a project manager with Rebuilding Together. “For a lot of the work we do there’s no visual impact. But these are all cosmetic repairs that we don’t get funding for otherwise and they not only help the homeowner but help the entire neighborhood look and feel better.”