Samaritan’s Purse rebuilds Flood demolished Home of John & Mona Hayes


There was a glow in Mona Hayes’ eyes as she watched her flood-damaged home get demolished Thursday. John and Mona Hayes stand beside what was their home as it is being demolished after being flooded by the Elbow River and condemned —resulting in months of financial struggle and inadequate insurance coverage. This is the first stage of its restoration as part of the Southern Alberta Restoration Project, a program of Samaritan’s Purse. Stuart Dryden/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency

“Things are looking up,” she said after nearly seven months of having her Erlton home declared condemned, resulting in an arduous financial struggle and inadequate insurance coverage.

“I’m really happy today,” said Hayes as she watched equipment haul off what remained of her home at 48 27 Ave. S.W. “I’m happy because Samaritan’s Purse is going to help me rebuild my home. “I won the lottery!”

Hayes, a hairstylist, and her husband John Hayes — who works as a water truck driver — were forced out by the massive June flood that left several Calgarians homeless. Their residence was demolished, marking the first stage of its restoration as part of the Southern Alberta Restoration Project, a program of Samaritan’s Purse.

Hayes said they just finished renovating the 1910-built, one-bedroom
home last March. “We put in hardwood floors and painted it,” she said. “There’s a lot of memories for me here, I’ve been living here since 2005.” When she met her husband two years ago, they decided to improve the residence but several months after finishing renovations they had to abandon the home and moved temporarily to Bridgeland.

Shane Bevans, construction manager with Samaritan’s Purse, said the couple is among the many families who the Christian relief and development organization is partnering with to help return home.

Now and over the next year, Samaritan’s Purse is mobilizing volunteer teams to tackle jobs ranging from relocating heating systems, to the complete reconstruction of homes from the ground up — as in the case of the Hayes.

“We’re working with the homeowners and architect and just trying to figure out exactly, what kind of new house we can put on this lot for them,” said Bevans. “We’re going to completely rebuild the house for them.” Bevans said rebuilding of the residence won’t begin until early spring when plans, permits and approvals are in place.

“Hopefully, we can get them their house some time this year.” Samaritan’s Purse officials said they will not only restore the house, but will also help the Hayes get their life back to what it was like before the flood.

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