Newark veteran receives free roof through Habitat for Humanity partnership

Marine veteran and Newark native Jason Bunn said he was humbled to have a nonprofit and two businesses partner to give him a free roof on his family’s home.

A Licking Valley graduate, Bunn served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1992 to 1998 as a machine gunner and was stationed in Cuba. Bunn said it was exciting, but lonely.

Bunn said he stayed at Fort Gordon in Georgia for a time because his wife was in the Air Force, but when she was done serving, they’d decided they missed home and returned to the Newark area.

Bunn said he learned about Habitat for Humanity’s critical repair program through the Newark VA.

According to Lydia Prenger, community and family impact manager for Habitat for Humanity Mid-Ohio, their organization has a critical repair program, where they work with owner-occupied homes to do critical health and safety repairs, such as replacing roofs, gutters, and windows.

“Jason applied for that program and we went through our process with him. We do have a veterans discount that we give through our veterans program, so as a thank you for their service, they get a discount on the project,” Prenger said. “We have a partnership with Owens Corning and so…they said they would like to do a roof for a veteran, so we connected them to Jason.”

Jamie Keller, senior director of development for Habitat for Humanity Mid-Ohio, explained Owens Corning contacted them looking for a veteran in need. She said Owens Corning is donating the materials needed for Bunn’s roof and their partner, Lifetime Quality Roofing & Storm Restoration, donated the labor.

Prenger said Habitat is looking at replacing some gutters and downspouts on Bunn’s home that were damaged and the payback for that project is calculated based on Bunn’s income. The remainder of the project was donated to Bunn.

“It’s a really great partnership between three organizations to have a veteran who needs work, a roofing company who’s committed to the community donating labor, and Owens Corning who’s connected us all together and they’re donating the materials,” Keller said.

Another company, Haus Builders out of McConnelsville, donated their services and labor on Wednesday to repair some of Bunn’s roof.

Zach Willard, CEO of Lifetime Quality Roofing & Storm Restoration, said their business wanted to be involved to show their appreciation for a local veteran who served the country and to be able to give back.

“This is what it’s all about for us: to be able to give back and help people. It’s important,” Willard said. “We do a lot of projects throughout the year. To be able to be out here and see Jason and what we’re able to do for him and his family and give him the security of knowing he’s going to have a brand new Lifetime roof on his house is awesome. It means a lot to us.”

Bunn said having a donated roof built on his home, along with the discounted gutters and downspouts helps his family immensely.