A new roof for a Regina family is not only protection from the elements, it’s also life changing.
The Regina Trades & Skills Centre (RTSC) partnered with Wheatland Roofing to build a new roof on Thursday for a family that couldn’t afford one otherwise.
It’s an opportunity for the centre’s roofing students to learn the trade and get experience out in the field.
“The (students) are looking at a larger scale, and then have to (apply) fall protection, and the safety side. They have ropes, different challenges and obstacles that they’re faced with here, that they’re not necessarily faced with in the shop,” Regina Trades & Skills Centre Operations Coordinator Melissa Dobrowolski said.
This year, four families were nominated, with the story of Michelle and John Deschamps standing out.
Michelle suffers from a rare disease causing nerve and mobility issues.
“It’s called ‘Charcot-Marie-Tooth’. It affects your nerves and everything and causes deformities in your feet, and major issues with mobility, shaking all that kind of stuff,” Michelle said.
When the family of five, bought they’re home two-and-half-years ago, they knew the roof needed repairs, but renovations to make the house wheelchair accessible took priority.
In October, Michelle traveled to Saskatoon to have foot surgery. During that time, John totaled their van dodging a drunk driver.
It left no money for the $7,000 roof repairs.
“It felt like a bit of a landslide on us, it feels nice there is finally an upturn finally happening,” John said.
“Hopeful is a good word,” Michelle said.
It’s the second year the centre and Wheatland roofing have partnered to give a family a new roof.
“It was just a no brainer, that when Wheatland came out and assessed their situation and looked at their story and said yeah this is the house that we want to do,” Dobrowolski said.
“Roofing is just the most important part of a home, that’s what keeps everything inside, working and in good condition. It starts from the top and works its way down,” Wheatland Roofing’s Victoria Scudder said.
The opportunity for the couple allows them to keep their focus on Michelle’s health as she prepares for more surgeries.
“It honestly feels like winning the lottery,” John said.
“Just thank you for everything that you’re doing, for your time and for everything,” Michelle said.