DAYTON, Ohio — Roofing contractors came to the rescue of a Dayton woman denied assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) six times for roof repairs needed since Memorial Day.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Tammie Helgeson has been living under her home’s damaged roof for four months following a tornado that struck the area on Memorial Day. Being on disability and without homeowner’s insurance, she asked FEMA for help. Helgeson requested FEMA assistance six times and was denied each time.

She shared her plight with the local media, saying the estimates she received for the repairs ranged from $11,000 to $15,000. When the story aired, Collette Roofing out of Dayton saw the story and decided to lend a hand.

“As soon as I clicked on the link and heard Tammie’s story, I just knew we had to help,” said Travis Collette, owner of Collette Roofing. “I could tell that she was really in need, she started crying, which definitely pulled on my heart strings.”

The roofing contractor showed up at Helgeson’s home on Sept. 27 and set out to repair the tornado-damaged roof.

“Most certainly there was a lot of damage created by the tornado, I have no clue why FEMA denied it,” Collette said.

The appreciative homeowner said the roof was in bad shape, and was happy to have it repaired before winter came. Helgeson was so grateful she even offered to prepare a meal for everyone who helped her.  

“It’s going to be fixed by people who took it into their own heart to do something for me,” Helgeson said. “I am grateful.”

A total of 18 tornadoes touched down overnight on Memorial Day in Ohio, setting a new record for the highest number of twisters in a single, local event.

This isn’t the first time Collette Roofing had reached out to help others. According to the company's Facebook page, the roofers installed a free roofing system for a family in June 2018 with ABC Supply providing the materials.

RC loves sharing stories about roofing contractors giving back to their communities. If you have a similar story to share, contact Managing Editor Chris Gray at 248-244-6498 or