Categories: Veteran, Habitat Happenings, Home Repair, Habitat Tucson

“A weight off of my shoulders”: A Home Repair for a Veteran


“I’ll be here until I’m gone. Sitting here now, I’m a lot more safe and secure,” Benjamin Davis told us about his home repairs with Habitat Tucson. 

Benjamin was born to a military family in West Virginia before his dad’s job took them to Tucson. Benjamin enlisted after high school. During his service, he spent over a decade in the Air Force, living all over the world- from Alaska to Sicily, then back to Tucson.  

Soon after retiring from his military service, he purchased the house he still lives in now. “I’ve been here since ‘98,” he shares. Over the years, problems with the home appeared, and because of his and his wife’s health, they couldn’t cover the repairs. Now, his wife is in Hospice. “She’s a lot more disabled than I am. It wears on you… nobody tells you that this will happen. You can’t prepare for it.” 

A big issue is accessibility; they used to have a wooden ramp to access the front door, and it collapsed. “We used to roll my wife down the ramp, now they need to wheel me down,” Benjamin shares. “I don’t do much walking for long distances.” They had a tub bathroom rather than a walk-in shower. And there was a large hole in the floor of the entranceway that had been covered with duct tape.  

Where the large entryway hole used to be.

Benjamin went online and started looking for programs that would help the elderly with home repairs. He saw Habitat online and saw that they were working with Home Depot to support Veterans, and thought, “All they can do is say no,” so he went ahead and applied. 

“Habitat got in touch with me, came out, and did the assessment of everything. Then a little while later I got the call that said, ‘We’re gonna go through with it’ and explained what they were going to do. These guys were super. They showed up, I sat there and watched them do it, and boom, they were gone.”  

Benjamin was seriously impressed with how fast everything went. His daughter, Melissa, says, “I was surprised at how quickly a roof or bathroom could get put up.”  

Benjamin said, “The roof took one day to take off and one day to put a new one on. They installed the ramp and the back steps, they fixed the hole in the floor. They finished the door in a couple of hours. They repaired some outlets in the house. They gave us a beautiful shower- it’s cultured marble. The contractor said that he had it left over in his shop from a job he ended up not being able to use it for and asked us if we wanted it. It looks gorgeous compared to what it was.” 

The new ramp, which is wheelchair accessible.

This repair will make a big difference in Benjamin and his wife’s daily life. He says, “Number one: safety. I’m not worried about fires from open outlets. Number two: transport. Exiting and entering the house is a lot safer. Now the shower is a walk-in shower, so that’s very accessible when you go in. And the roof. Now, I don’t have to worry about any leaks.” He adds, “The quality is very high. This isn’t a fly-by-night. Sometimes you worry, like, ‘Are these guys gonna rip me off?’ It wasn’t like that at all. These guys were highly professional. Very courteous of my wife. They tried to be as quiet as they could. They were above board, and took care of everything.”  

A new accessible shower, complete with marble detailing.

Benjamin found that he was treated “very respectfully” as a Veteran. He says, “Whenever I go down to the VA, I tell people to look into Habitat. I say, ‘They’ll help you. They’re eager to do the work.’ And talk about a weight off my shoulders. Now I don’t have to worry about rain, the shower is better, everything. You guys are great.”


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