BERGENFIELD, N.J. — Michelle Edmonds of Bergenfield now has a new roof, thanks to New Jersey general contractor, Roof4Roof.
After company founder Chuck Anania was contacted by Habitat for Humanity about Edmonds, he knew he had to help in some way.
Anania and his team on Thursday installed new shingles and gutters at Edmonds' West Broad Street home.
Edmond’s neighbor, who brought her need to the attention of Habitat for Humanity, donated $1,000 toward the cost of materials. While the total project would usually cost more than $5,000, it was no cost to Edmonds.
"For two years we couldn't use our kitchen because if it rained, it rained in the kitchen," says Edmonds of the condition of her previous roof.
Edmonds worked two jobs until 2001 when a surgery left her disabled. Soon after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"Some days are good days. Some days are not," said Edmonds of her health.
Despite her setbacks, she has always given what she had to others. When she learns of friends, family, and acquaintances who are in need of a roof over their heads, Edmonds invites them to stay with her.
She has taken in those whose homes were flooded or burned down and many who fell on hard times after losing their jobs. She even raised children who were not her own.
At one point, Edmonds opened her home to ensure as many as 14 people have had a roof over their heads. Today she has seven in her household, including her 11-month-old grandson.
“One of life’s most basic needs is shelter," said Anania, who uses proceeds from previous projects to fund others.
"Keeping a safe, dry roof over their family’s heads has become increasingly difficult for many homeowners."
In 2010 when Anania visited Cali, Colombia, he was moved by the extreme poverty and terrible conditions he saw: collapsing, leaky roofs posed serious health, safety and quality of life issues to many, including children and the elderly.
Edmonds is grateful she and Anania crossed paths.
"I thank God all the time that someone would do this for me," she said. "Chuck is a blessing, an angel."