The personal stories from victims of Hurricane Sandy are heartbreaking. They've prompted all kinds of help from all kinds of people, including from many of you. Tonight more help is on the way from southwestern Virginia thanks to a national foundation and a local home building company.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation helps build homes for wounded war veterans. When hurricane Sandy hit, the foundation quickly changed its focus to help people who lost their homes. Tomorrow, if you're in the Rocky Mount area, you may see pre-fabricated homes heading north to storm damaged areas in Connecticut.
“When the hurricane--my God--when that hit what a tragedy, what devastation.” Catherine Christman of Tunnels to Towers is the cousin of the firefighter for whom the foundation is named and she used to live in Connecticut. She says she's touched knowing the impact this will have on the lives of storm victims. “The stories of the people who will be moving into these homes are unbelievable --people who were hanging onto their screen doors for 13 hours as the flood waters rushed all around them so they wouldn't drown,” she said. “These are former neighbors and friends of mine and I know the pain,” she continued.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, named after a firefighter who died on 9/11, is footing the bill for at least 15 of these homes. A base model costs $35,000. The one we filmed today is 14 feet wide and 48 feet long. It has 2 bedrooms, a full bath, full kitchen, dining area and living area.
While the Rocky Mount homebuilding company Factory Expo Homes will be compensated, some extras were thrown in. Items included mini-blinds, curtains and shutters. The company employees know their sweat equity and compassion will be appreciated and they can only imagine the smile.
The new homeowners will be able to stay in the homes for one year and won't just gain a new place to stay. The families will also be provided with food. We're told three homes will arrive in New Milford, Connecticut tomorrow. The homes will be located on the grounds of a church so children will also be able to attend a school the church operates.