Khary Penebaker, President of a National Roofing Partners affiliated commercial roofing company, Roofed Right America LLC, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sat with company CEO Ricardo Herrera as he blinked back tears, turning his face away from his tablemates. Meta House’s annual breakfast featured graduates of the substance abuse treatment program who shared their testimonials. Their stories took on the drumbeat cadence of barely functioning, hitting bottom, navigating despair, then, finally, the stirrings of hope as a Meta House apartment – redemption – opened up. The best part? The women got to bring their children to live with them.
As the morning went on, Penebaker and his colleagues grasped the full scope of the drug and alcohol crisis crippling so many families in their community. Following a touching video testimonial by a Meta House graduate and family member of one of Penebaker’s partners, they choked up.
“We all just looked at each other, like, ‘We have got to be better stewards in our community.’ It’s one thing to be altruistic and treat employees well, but that’s internal,” says Penebaker.
When they could bring themselves to speak they made a decision: they would reroof this amazing place. Forget the discounted estimate they had recently written up. Now they were here, witnessing Meta House in action. The roof would be their gift.
A few months ago NRP asked its membership of commercial roofing companies to share their stories of corporate giving with promises that one company would win top billing on the NRP blog with its charity of choice.
Dale Tyler, NRP President, admires companies that support their communities. Tyler realized, long ago, that giving is contagious and affirming.
“It was heartwarming to read the entries to our contest and to witness the generosity and acts of kindness going on behind the scenes at so many of our network companies. Everyone in this industry knows it is such a warm, family-oriented one. But from the outside, sometimes I think people only see the fruits of our labor, not the fruits of our spirits,” says Tyler, whose network of roofing partners spans the nation and offers a single point of contact for corporate clients in need of leak detection, building envelope sealing, roof repair or maintenance, lightweight concrete, or general portfolio maintenance.
Meta House Receives A New Roof
“Khary and his partners freed up tens of thousands of dollars to better serve these families. Their generous donation has made such a difference to the women and children we serve,” says Amy Lindner, President and CEO of Meta House. She praises the roofing company and crew for investing in the women and children who will live in the facility so much more comfortably now. She describes Meta House as “a safe harbor where women can rest, recover and get their lives together” without the pressure of traditional household stressors
Penebaker and his partners attended the breakfast in May and began the reroofing job in June.
“We came back to work and told the crew we needed them to work this one weekend. No one asked for overtime. Not a single person said no, which was awesome. They just said okay, they came in, and they did a great job,” says Penebaker with a smile.
The Roofed Right America LLC team took on the substantial project, which fell at the peak of the summer season. The photographs here feature the Meta House’s reroofing. It was a complete tear off requiring sheet metal installation, pushing the job to last four days. The manufacturer, John Manville, generously donated the membrane.
Support Meta House
Lindner describes Meta House as a holistic substance abuse treatment program for women with a special focus on ending the intergenerational cycle of addiction. The agency offers inpatient residential services, outpatient treatment and transitional housing, complete with 27 apartment units for women and their families. The new roof was installed on the largest of the transitional housing buildings, home to 11 individual apartment units. Clients typically reside in Meta Housing between one and two years with their families while they work to build a life in recovery and become economically self-sufficient. While at Meta Housing, women work to complete GEDs, enroll in job training programs, take parenting classes, and complete substance abuse treatment.
Felicia, a Meta House resident, describes Meta House’s impact this way, “(Transitional) Housing gives my family stability, structure and safety. It makes putting recovery to work in the real world a reality, but it gives me a chance to continue working on my parenting… and (I can) figure out next steps like employment. Meta House saved my life and my daughters’ lives. They’ve shown me that a new life is possible. We now have a healthy, joyous life, free from the power of addiction.”
Donations can be made at www.metahouse.org/donate
For inspiration, resources and more information about Meta House, click here.