Disabled Elk Grove Vet Gets New Home


A veteran who survived poisoning by Agent Orange in Vietnam has a brand new home thanks to thousands of hours put in by volunteers.

The team from Habitat For Humanity of Greater Sacramento planned to replace the roof on 74-year-old Santiago Bonilla's Elk Grove home, but they discovered it leaked so bad all the water left the place loaded with mold.

Photograph by KFBK News, Ryan Harris

Bonilla says until they showed up, he didn't know about Habitat.  "I've never heard of people doing this kind of work for other people," Bonilla says, "and it's a joy."

Habitat's construction director, Monte Morris, says they basically had to gut the place, but as the job grew, he was touched by the number of people and groups from the community stepped in to help.  "That means a lot to me," Morris says as he choked back tears, "and I hope it'll mean just as much to everybody in the Elk Grove community, and the word will spread and we can keep on doing good work like this."

Photograph by KFBK News, Ryan Harris

"...it's a joy," Disabled Vietnam veteran Santiago Bonilla on his new home from Habitat for Humanity.

Bonilla's house now has new walls and floors, completely rebuilt kitchens and bathrooms, and wider doors, halls and other accessories to make life in a wheelchair easier.


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