Kenneth Snead Sr.’s mom always told him believing is half the battle.
Snead recalled her words Thursday while watching contractors install a free roof on his West Eighth Avenue home in Tarentum.
“I am so grateful, but I just knew it was gonna happen,” said Snead, 62, an Army veteran. “I believed.”
The roof replacement is valued at about $15,000.
It was made possible by Monroeville-based Nasco Roofing and Construction through the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project, a national effort to shower veterans with gratitude.
Snead served in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division during the 1980s.
A retired contractor, he moved to the borough from Philadelphia about a decade ago with family.
He said he enjoys the slower pace of the area and knew he wanted to stay.
“When I saw this house for sale, I knew it was the one,” Snead said.
“The roof was bad, but the house is good,” he said. “It’s just older. I had to do my homework and find out where to ask for help.”
He was chosen for the home renovation through a partnership with Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit founded in 2008 to assist with veterans’ housing needs. According to the group’s website, Purple Heart Homes has completed nearly 1,000 projects for veterans in need.
The house sat vacant for nine years before Snead bought it.
“It has a lot of character; I just didn’t have the funding for the roof,” he said. “This will bring new life to the street.
“I reached out and asked for help because I believed.”
Owens Corning donated roofing materials, Nasco crews completed the work and Michael Brothers provided the dumpster for debris removal.
“It’s wonderful news,” Tarentum Manager Dwight Boddorf said. “The borough is appreciative of the Owens Corning program for helping Mr. Snead replace his roof.”
Not only is it a life-changing event for a resident, but it has the added benefits of increasing property values and getting a long-vacant property back on the tax rolls, Boddorf said.
“It adds a friendly face to the town to stay,” he said. “Acts of kindness like this are part of what makes Tarentum a great place to live and work.”
The timing of his new roof wasn’t lost on Snead.
“We have this beautiful weather in November, and this is perfect for Veterans Day,” he said.
What he appreciated most is that the spotlight might raise awareness for other veterans who need help.
“I want them to know there are resources,” he said. “A lot of pieces had to fall into place for this. It took perseverance, and there is help for them, too.”