Stories from the Field: Vernon

When Irma came, Vernon rode out the storm away from his home, a trailer with additions on a corner lot.  On the day our teams were asked to scour The Avenues for people who may need help, we met him cleaning up his yard, moving mostly tree branches. He said the yard looked so much better compared to when he first arrived after the storm.

Then, we asked how his home fared during the storm, he started cataloging the planned repairs:

  • replace drywall and outlets
  • fix the roof
  • replace the kitchen

That last bullet point was impactful for us – The old trailer subfloor under his kitchen gave way, so the room needed complete rebuilding.

Nevertheless, Vernon said he was one of the lucky ones. He had signed up for the STEP assistance program through the county and they were going to help repair his home. But he was the only one left on 2 blocks.

The campground across the street was effectively gone. The two trailers left are severely damaged, unliveable. The trailers that had been on his side of the street burned.  I found myself dwelling on this throughout the rest of the day.  Everyone else was gone, but Veron chose to stay and rebuild.  I don’t know that I would have.


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