Not all angels have wings and harps — some of them wield nail guns and shingles.
Washington-based Guardian Roofing & Pest Control is coming to the rescue of a family in dire need of roofing services with its appropriately-named Halo Project after the family made a devastating discovery in their new home.
The Lenihan family — Sarah, Luke and their two children — of Enumclaw, Wash. bought their first-ever home, a 107-year-old house they knew would require some work. After being told by the home inspector that it was fit to live in, they set to work on restoring the attic and had a horrifying revelation: the roof was in terrible condition and needed to be completely rebuilt.
“The roof was rotted — there was no ventilation, so the roof rotted from the inside out,” Sarah told the Courier-Herald. “And the inspector completely missed it.”
The Lenihans did what they could to make the home livable, but rebuilding the roof was far more costly than they anticipated. The Courier-Herald reports they tried to submit a claim against the inspector, but it went nowhere, and a lawsuit would likely result in paying more legal fees than what they’d receive if they won. They even turned to crowdfunding, but they couldn’t come close to the $65,000 price tag.
That’s when their pleas for help reached the ears of Guardian Roofing. Founder and President Lori Swanson created the Halo Project in 2018, wherein the roofing contractor selects a deserving family from entries submitted by the public to provide roofing services free of charge. Swanson said she started the project to give back to her community.
"When we started Guardian in 2005, we had one van and a crew of four,” said Swanson in a press release. “Keeping our guys working was tough, but it was the local community who trusted us enough to give us their business. (I'll) never forget how our community supported us back then — that's why I'm so happy we are in a position now almost 20 years later to give something back to them.”
Residents from all over submitted 105 nominations for the Lenihan family, setting the record for the most submissions Guardian Roofing ever received for its Halo Project. Practically every nomination spoke highly of the Lenihans, calling them everything from “deserving” to a “hardworking, amazing family.” Others pointed out the injustice the family endured.
“They are the victims of an unscrupulous inspector who did not disclose the catastrophic state of the roof in the home they purchased,” one nomination reads. “They are now looking at a roof replacement cost that they cannot afford. Thank you for your consideration.”
After reading each submission, the leadership team at Guardian Roofing knew they had to help. They selected the family as the 2021 Halo Project recipient and will begin the project this summer.
“The team at Guardian is excited to get this project started and help another family in need,” said Morgan Roth, marketing coordinator.
Last year, Guardian Roofing selected two families to assist through its Halo Project, knowing families were struggling due to the pandemic. The first project, which took place in June 2020, assisted a mother of four who lost her husband, a roofer, to terminal cancer. In July 2020, the Halo Project helped a single mother and her young daughter whose attic was full of mold.
“Every recipient of the Halo Project has truly needed our help and I feel blessed to be able to provide them some relief from the burden of a roof problems!” said Swanson.