By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – A local family of six will settle into their new home this week thanks to a local business that came to their aid when the one they were living in was deemed unfit for occupancy. Ian Morrill, Therasa Smith, and their four children are the recipients of a brand new mobile home, delivered last week by Pleasant Homes.
Simon Boersma of Pleasant Homes said he first became aware of the family’s situation when he saw a Global Trouble Shooter segment about renovations the family had done by a contractor to their mobile home. “We looked at the home, saw the inspection, saw that this home could not be somewhere where they lived for the next 25 years, and then took the rest of the journey on getting them a brand new home,” Boersma said.
Boersma’s business partner, Gary Hauk, said the family’s previous home was not safe. “On Simon’s inspection, he recognized an immediate danger with the home in that there was a possibility that it could and would eventually collapse because of the reconstruction that was done to it,” Hauk said. “There was a fairly immediate need to get them out of there and into something.”
Both businessmen confirmed the family’s previous home had to go. “We couldn’t make it safe because of what had been done,” Boersma said, noting renovations to the home had compromised the integrity of the building. “We could not make it liveable or habitable for the long term.”
The two men met with the family to go over options, met with the Town of Morinville for the necessary permissions to put a new home on the old home’s location, and put together a package that was affordable enough to allow the family to move into a brand new house. Part of that affordability was providing the newly-constructed home at cost.
The family’s new home is a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,120 square-foot manufactured home. “It just came off the assembly line,” Boersma said, adding the house, built in Lethbridge, was delivered to the site Mar. 7.”
Standing outside their new house last Wednesday, the whole family was excited about their new home, pleased the unsafe structure was gone, and thankful to Pleasant Homes for being there in their hour of need.
“They’re like guardian angels, these two,” Theresa Smith said of Boersma and Hauk. “They saved us a lot of headaches [and] put it on themselves. We appreciate every minute of it.”
As a mother of four, Smith is relieved to be able to have the family under a roof that she knows is not going to collapse on her and her children. She’s also relieved that months of uncertainty have passed and the family can resume the stability it had before. “It feels amazing, finalized for once instead of always wondering what’s going to happen next,” Smith said, adding the family has gone through a lot since discovering the home they bought and paid to have renovated would have to go. “It was crushing [and] frustrating because we’d worked so hard to spend so much money and get a loan and all that stuff – and then to find out that all of our money went down the drain.”
Smith said even the act of getting rid of the home they’d worked to obtain was an emotional experience. “That was a big part of it too,” she said. “Even though we knew the new one was coming in. It still was emotional for me.”
For husband Ian Morrill, there were few tears shed saying goodbye to the unsafe home. He was simply glad to know that when he goes away to work, often for weeks at a time, his family is safe under the roof he is working hard to provide. “At least my family’s going to be safe,” he said. “I’m pretty much all in it for the family. I’m super grateful for what these guys did for me. They’re all about family and that’s really awesome in my books.”
Hauk, however, is not quite prepared to take all the credit. “I kept saying this took a team,” Hauk said, noting the new home owner’s family as well as Quinn’s Plumbing and Heating stepped up to lend a hand in making everything happen. “It wasn’t Pleasant Homes that made this happen; it was everybody. They had to do their part. They had to qualify for a mortgage; which they did. The guy works hard.”