Veteran's home to be repaired

Hannah Grover
Team Depot volunteer Manny Martinez works on the Rowe family's house on Saturday in Farmington.

FARMINGTON – Anita Rowe always dreamed of owning a house.

"I grew up as a ward of the state of New Jersey, so I never had a home that I could call my own," she said.

So when the opportunity came up in 2004 for her family to buy a house off of Court Street, Rowe leaped at the chance, even though she knew it would need repairs.

Over time, Anita Rowe and her husband ran out of money to repair the house, which they live in with their daughter and grandson. That was when the Women Veterans of New Mexico stepped in. Rowe had served in the U.S. Army in the 1970s. She met her husband during her time in the service.

The Women Veterans of New Mexico helped the Rowes get an $18,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation to repair the house. The money will cover roof repairs, new floors and remodeling of the kitchen.

Michael Rowe, Anita Rowe's grandson, does demolition work in the Rowe family kitchen on Saturday at their home in Farmington.

Because of a hole in the roof, the wood floors of the kitchen and entry area of the house were splintering and breaking apart. The house also lacks adequate insulation, and the family depends on a small propane space heater and a fireplace to heat the 2,400-square-foot house.

A few years ago, Beverly Charley, the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services' Farmington officer, started working to get the grant for the Rowes.

Rowe was hesitant to be too hopeful. She had sought help fixing the house before and had seen agreements fall through. When Charley called her and told her that she and her husband had received the grant, Rowe was overwhelmed.

"I nearly passed out," she said.

Veterans and volunteers from all around the state have come to help repair the house. On Saturday, a group of volunteers began working on replacing the floors. Charley said a lot of prayer went into securing the grant and repairing the house.

Michael Rowe, grandson of Anita Rowe, left, and Team Depot volunteer Raina Velarde help strip the Rowe family's kitchen on Saturday in Farmington.

"God has definitely made things move," she said.

The volunteers are continuing to work on the house, and if anyone wants to help, they can call Rowe at 505-326-5312.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield as well as general news for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.