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A new roof means new life for one Pocatello man

A Pocatello man says his entire outlook on life has been changed after a local group stepped up to replace his roof.

“It does, it does change everything,” Doyle Gabrielson said.

Gabrielson and his 36-year-old stepdaughter Jessica, who suffers from chromosomal issues, have lived in their home on Tuscon Dr. for nearly 15 years. But recently, their roof had become an issue.

“It’d ruin the inside and I can’t have her in there when there’s mold starting and stuff like that,” Gabrielson explained. “It’s not good for her health or my health. So I needed a roof pretty bad.”

He didn’t have many options though. On disability and with limited funds, he wasn’t willing to give up the house. It holds a lot of personal value to him because it’s the first that he and his late wife owned together, and it also allows him to take care of Jessi.

He feared he’d lose her if he lost the house, but estimates to fix the roof were around $5,000.

“My stomach [would] get to hurtin’ because I couldn’t get the money to get it done,” he said.

Then, everything changed when his neighbor, Dawn, sent over her social worker.

“It was the best thing that ever happened, was dawn sending her over,” Gabrielson said.

“So, I went and met with him and Jessi, got to know their situation, realized how much they were also in need,” Cheri Tensel, social work case manager for Hope Tree Family Services, explained.

So Tensel took on Doyle and Jessi’s services and connected them to The Elf Project.

Elf stands for enriching lives and families and is a collaborative effort between many community groups.

“He wanted so badly to preserve this home of theirs, especially that’s where his wife was, and the only way to do that was to have the community come in and support him,” Tensel said.

On Tuesday, that support was shown strong as ever a team of more than a dozen went to work. An effort that will preserve Doyle’s home and won’t cost him a dime.

“It was a big relief off of my shoulders, and I was very happy that there’s programs like this to help people like me,” he said. “It’s the best thing in the world to me.”

If you or someone you know may need assistance from The Elf Project they can fill out an application on their website.

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