House rebuilding project for homeless vet faces delays

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - The cold weather on Saturday caused further delays to a house rebuilding project for a homeless veteran.

"He's working construction himself so he knows construction happens," Chris De La Garza North Texas Veterans Relief Fund Vice-Chair said.

The Wichita Falls house the non-profit is repairing belongs to U.S. Army veteran Casey McCain. It is his childhood home.

15 volunteers were scheduled to work on the home but the weather left them out in the cold.

"Because of the uncertainty of driving conditions and just the fact that there's no heat in [the house] and we're going to be taking out some windows and doors, we decided to cancel for today and push it back another week," De La Garza said.

The weather cancellation was not the first delay the project faced. They started when the non-profit applied for a building and remodeling permit for residential property with the Wichita Falls city council last October.

"Just logistical stuff, us being rookies trying to do this," De La Garza said.

De La Garza said they needed contractors to look over the HVAC, electrical, plumbing and a general contractor on top of that to look over everything.

"Because there's no funding attached to this house, it's something we were doing on a volunteer basis," she said. "We had to have contractors donate their time and expertise to help us."

De La Garza said they found some volunteers but as more delays, such as funding issues and lack of supplies, started to pile up the number of volunteers started to shrink.

"Those were our skilled volunteers," she said. "Those were our electricians and our plumbers so we are trying to replace them."

After several businesses donated supplies, De La Garza said, they are ready to reassemble and rebuild. She said they still need electricians to help run wiring before they move to the next phase so McCain and his wife can move in.

"This is the home that he grew up in and he would really like to come home again," she said.

McCain is staying at Faith Mission in Wichita Falls right now and is a month away from graduating the non-profit's recovery program.

She said if the house is not finished by then the non-profit will arrange for a place he and his wife can stay until the home is ready.

If you would like to volunteer, then you can email NTVRF@yahoo.com to sign up.

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