Virgin Islands VOICES: Community comes together to bring doomed home back to life

Many called it a doomed job. A home left without a roof in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. A long way from the main roads and cut off by series of steep staircases. But for these two young adults and a brave team with them, no job was going unfinished.

“Organizations said that this wouldn’t be possible because there was no way to drive material to the job,” Tyler Rice, one of the coordinators of the FEMA Blue Tarp Project said.

When Rice got this assignment as part of TLC, one of the coordinators organizing the FEMA Blue Tarp Project, he knew it was going to be a challenge.

“If we coudn’t get the truck up we had to carry it,” Rice added.

But when no one was stepping up, Rice, co-coordinator Liz Nurse and their team stepped in.

“The biggest reason we got involved was because we just really wanted to help so in cases like this where it just takes a little bit more effort it was really for us to just put in the time,” Liz Nurse, co-coordinator of the FEMA Blue Tarp Project said.

Rice and Nurse said they couldn’t have done it without those carpenters and workers who stayed dedicated to this difficult task. About eight total did all of this work.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support both energetically and financially by our government and all the different groups that came down. And the fact that they offered the local people a chance to participate and really come together around this project was amazing for them and the people that got helped by it,” Nurse added.

Tyler said, “it was such a big Island wide effort to make these types of jobs a reality.”

Because of this group and several others like them over 200 homes got blue roofs and thanks to an added effort by eight brave volunteers, the home that thought it was forgotten, got one too.

“They have something to protect them from the weather and start the process of moving forward,” Emily said.