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Donation for new roof 'answer to prayer' for vet program

Jeff Miller presents an HonorAir check to Scott Rogers (right) as county Veterans Affairs Director Mike Murdock looks on. Jeff Miller presents an HonorAir check to Scott Rogers (right) as county Veterans Affairs Director Mike Murdock looks on.

Donors to Hendersonville-based HonorAir came through with the final $7,000 needed to match a Veterans Administration grant and pay for a new roof at a residential rehabilitation and job-training center for homeless veterans.

HonorAir cofounder Jeff Miller presented the check on Friday to the Rev. Scott Rogers, executive director of the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, which operates the Veterans Restoration Quarters in a former motel in Asheville.
"I mean, it was just an answer to prayer because after it snowed it started to thaw out and the drops started coming through and we've been lifting it up in prayer every day to, 'Lord, please provide help for us to get this done,'" Rogers said. "That's how we've come to know Jeff. He sees the gaps and responds. He's all about filling the gap for our vets. He does it quietly and other times like this when we really want people to know how HonorAir is supporting us."
Rogers came to Hendersonville for the check presentation from Miller at the Veterans Hall at the Henderson County Human Services Building.
The roof had become an increasingly urgent problem since about last November.
"The flat roof was deteriorating slowly but we noticed by the number of buckets we had to add each time there was a big rain that it was getting worse each month," he said. "And we'd go up and do some patching."
But he knew patching would not work for long.
"We kicked off a drive on Veterans Day with volunteers with a goal of $25,250" to match a capital improvement grant from the V.A., Rogers said.
A $20,000 grant from the V.A. would have left a gap of $75,000 based on the first quote the Veterans Restoration Quarters received of $95,000.
"We found a generous contractor out of Marion who's contributing half the labor (and doing the job) for $45,250," Rogers said. "So then we had to come up with $25,250. When Jeff called me up last week, he asked me how much more we needed. Then he called me back and said what's the exact number."
It was exactly $7,000. HonorAir cut the check.

"So Jeff and HonorAir have come through in flying colors to do the final check of matching funds," Rogers said.
The roofing contractor tentatively scheduled the 10,000-square-foot replacement job for Feb. 22-23.
The Veterans Restoration Quarters serves an average of 246 men, 200 to 210 of them veterans. The residential centers offers job training in the restaurant business, truck driving and other occupations.
Rogers said he was worried that if the roof situation got worse, the danger could force the VRQ to close that part of the building.
"We've done too good a job of ending homelessness for our veterans," he said. "We don't want to go backwards."

To donate send a check to HonorAir, 423 North King Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792