Local groups work to restore home for Army veteran


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Helping Our Heroes, a non-profit program designed to give back to our veterans, is joining together with other community leaders to change the life of one local veteran for the better.

The veteran you’re about to meet is named Karen Alred. These groups are doing more than just giving her a network, they’re restoring her home for free, so she doesn’t have to worry about her future.

As you can imagine, this is something Alred says she is forever grateful for, because after living through tough times while serving in the military, it’s a relief to know she’ll always have a roof over her head no matter what.

I just try as much as I can but I can’t do everything, you know,” said Alred.

Karen Alred, a U.S. Army veteran and mother of three, is getting some much needed help from people in our community to keep memories of her father’s home alive.

It was a task she could not do alone, living with a disability of military sexual trauma.

“I was at my bottom, everything was gone, I didn’t want to admit I was disabled so I just stopped,” said Alred.

That’s when Leslie Melvin, the founder of Helping Our Heroes, and her crew stepped in to help.

“We want it to be a healthy place for Karen to live. You know, we want her to be safe, we want her to be healthy and have a home that she can she can be proud of,” said Melvin.

David Dietz is a veteran himself and knows firsthand what it’s like to fight for our country and then come back home and adjust to everyday life.

He says help isn’t always easy to find, which is why he decided to step up and be there for Alred when not too many people were.        

“Some of those challenges are addressed by the V.A., some of those challenges are addressed by the support of friends and family, but sometimes people don’t necessarily get all the help that they need,” Dietz.

This home is a family heirloom that’s been in Alred’s family since she was just five years old. She says without Helping Our Heroes and their volunteers, the improvements needed on her home would not have gotten done.

“It’s an old house and it needed to be redone and I didn’t have the resources,” said Alred. “So mostly I just feel blessed.”

Several community stakeholders came together to help make this effort possible, from buying materials to finding volunteers to help do the work.

If you’re interested in getting involved, Helping Our Heroes says it’s always looking for more volunteers.

For more information, check out Seen on 6.

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