MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A call for help to get a 94-year-old World War II veteran’s roof fixed has touched the hearts of many across South Florida.
Leo McClarney’s roof was severely damaged two years ago by Hurricane Irma. At the time, a crew patched up the areas with blue tarps. They were meant to be a temporary fix, but he never received a permanent solution.
McClarney, a Navy veteran who served in Pearl Harbor, built the home himself. His daughter, Regina McClarney-Crowley said they lived there during Hurricane Andrew with no damage. Now, she said, they are struggling to get him the help that he needs.
“We don’t have the funds,” she said. “He doesn’t have the funds to put a new roof on. He’s on a very limited income and whatever he gets goes toward his caregivers. He has 24-hour care.”
McClarney-Crowley said they even reached out to FEMA and went through an appeals process, but never received a response.
“Even though I wrote a letter saying that he’s a veteran and asked if there something that could be done for him, nothing happened,” she said.
As the patching has deteriorated over time, his family and caregivers grew more concerned about keeping him safe from the elements.
“When Mother Nature comes – a rain, heavy wind – we aren’t sure what’s going to happen,” said Denise Metayer, his caregiver.
CBS4’s Neighbors 4 Neighbors said after the story about his McLarney’s plight aired on Wednesday the response was very positive.
Several roofers and contractors have come forward, offering to help, and the Irma Long Term Recovery agency in Miami-Dade has assigned a case manager to evaluate what other needs there made be and what resources are available. There is concern that since roof has been leaking for years, there may be other problems and mold remediation may be needed.
Neighbors 4 Neighbors also they’ve received some monetary donations to help pay to have the roof fixed.
If you’d like to help, go to Neighbors 4 Neighbors, and select “Other” in the designation field and “Veteran Leo” in the dedication field. All credit cards are accepted. Donations are tax deductible.