Habitat Omaha Homeowners

“Our Light at the End of the Tunnel”

They needed one less thing to worry about.

Following a rewarding career in the Air Force Special Police, Ellis and his wife Jean retired in Omaha and were enjoying their golden years until he suffered a major stroke over 5 years ago. His prognosis was grim as his doctor thought he might never walk again, but Ellis was determined and started physical therapy.

During this time he fell twice, breaking first his hip and then a femur, both leading to lengthy stays at the VA Rehabilitation Center located several hours away from their home. On top of all that, making matters worse, his kidneys failed, meaning he needs dialysis three times weekly while he awaits a transplant.

Jean’s focus these past five years has naturally been on caring for Ellis, and little by little, their home fell into disrepair. Ellis, who always enjoyed working with his hands, had taken care of any necessary maintenance and this was far beyond her capabilities.

They looked into hiring someone to do the repairs and quickly learned the cost was beyond anything their budget could handle. Things looked and felt hopeless as they wondered if they’d be able to stay in their home.

They applied to Habitat for Humanity of Omaha’s Veteran Repair Program. The application is streamlined* and Home Repair Manager, Danyelle, and Veteran Outreach Coordinator, Mark, along with Habitat Omaha construction staff work with homeowners throughout the entire process, limiting stress and worry.

For Ellis and Jean the restoration of their home was the answer to their prayers. Or, as Jean put it in a heartfelt thank you note she sent after the completion of work on their home, “Habitat was Our Light at the end of the tunnel.”

For Danyelle, one of the most rewarding aspects of her job is “watching the relief and excitement cross the faces of these veterans as they learn they will finally be receiving the help with their homes they so badly need…living comfortably and safely, which they deserve after serving.”

*Eligible veterans living in Douglas, Sarpy, Washington and Burt counties must own their home and have current insurance and their income must fall within certain parameters. In addition, applicants must provide a copy of their DD214 and pay a nominal application fee.