HAVEN Grant Funds New Roof and Repairs for Gold Star Widow

JACKSONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Each time Leslie Haynes glances at her new roof as she enters her home, she remembers how people reached out to her in a time of need.

Ms. Haynes’ husband, Rodric, died in 2009 at the age of 39 of a rare form of lung cancer after serving more than 20 years in the United States Army, including three tours in Iraq, where he served as a technical inspector of weapons electronics. While on duty in Iraq, he experienced breathing difficulties, and when he returned to the U.S., he was diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s like my husband is still taking care of me even though he’s been gone for 10 years,” Ms. Haynes said. She said her roof, which had not been replaced in many years, had begun to leak. In addition, condensation from her heating and air-conditioning system had caused mold to form in her crawl space. Ms. Haynes said she didn’t initially know about the mold, which was discovered after she sought repairs. Housing Assistance for Veterans (HAVEN) funds were used to address both issues.

As a Gold Star widow, Ms. Haynes qualified for a $10,000 HAVEN grant that helped fund a new roof and mold removal from the crawl space of her Jacksonville home.

HAVEN assists post-9/11 U.S. veterans, active-duty military, reserves and National Guard service members, who became disabled as a result of their post-9/11 service. It was recently expanded to assist Gold Star families – those who have lost loved ones to military service since 9/11. Households with income of 165 percent or less of the area median income may qualify.

The grant can be used for home repairs and modifications or to offset the construction cost of a new home.

HAVEN grants are awarded through member institutions of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) such as Arvest Bank, which provided the grant to Ms. Haynes. In 2019, FHLB Dallas made $300,000 in HAVEN funds available to its member institutions to distribute to qualified applicants.

“We are honored to be able to assist our servicemen and women and their families through HAVEN grants, in return for their service and sacrifice, both personally and for our country,” said Jim Cargill, president and CEO of Arvest Bank in Central, Northeast and Southwest Arkansas. “It is through acts of kindness and service that we build stronger communities, and the security and peace of mind these grants provide can be life-changing for many families.”

Ms. Haynes said she first heard about the HAVEN grant from Survivor Outreach Services (SOS), an Army program that offers support, information and services to surviving families of fallen soldiers. SOS then connected her with Arvest Bank.

Ms. Haynes, who works and is a full-time student seeking her master’s degree in social work, said she couldn’t afford to fund the repairs herself.

“Without the HAVEN grant, I would have had to wait until I finished school, started my new career and saved up some money,” she said. “It is beyond a true blessing. It’s overwhelming to know there are still people willing to help.”

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said HAVEN is a special way for members to honor military families.

“The HAVEN grant offers members an avenue through which they can help military families who have suffered so much since September 11,” said Mr. Hettrick. “We were pleased to join with Arvest Bank to offer Ms. Haynes the help she needed to make her home safe and secure again.”

About Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of the “World’s Best Banks” for 2019, operates more than 260 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 14 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 135 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $73.8 billion as of September 30, 2019, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 815 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.

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