Help bring a family back home

We are the Zivney Family.  Paul, Bettina, Brynn and our newest addition, Piper.  ‍‍‍

Last fall we embarked on a remodeling project to replace our aging roof and update our modest, closet-sized bathroom for our newly expanded family.  After a number of meetings and research we moved ahead with a NARI member contractor who was also doing  other work in our area. Little did we know or could we have anticipated that months later, the work we undertook to invest in and improve our home would instead lead to loss and devastation.

Just months after its application the new roof has already begun to fail and needs to be completely replaced.  Our new bathroom stands vacant, empty and incomplete, our other half bathroom has been flooded and is inoperable, and lead dust and debris has contaminated every inch of our home and all of our possessions.  

As the weeks and months progressed, bad turned to worse… we found out that our contractor falsified his company information, did not have adequate insurance to cover the poor workmanship or extensive clean up of the lead dust and closed their doors, abandoning our project!  A couple of weeks ago, we also received the official notice that they filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and we are unable to recoup any of the large sum of money we already paid the contractor for the project.

This puts a huge financial and emotional burden on our family and left our home worse than it started!  We have been displaced for more than 4 months and are now forced to pay for another new roof, clean-up of lead dust, to complete the bathroom remodel (our only shower) as well as  replace all that was deemed unsalvageable in order to avoid unnecessary risk to our daughters.  Unsalvageable items include things like carpet, furniture, personal items, toys, and basic staples that are in most homes, (i.e. aking soda, paper clips, toilet paper.....)  Basically, we are dealing with a disaster, much like a fire or a flood where everything needs to be removed from the site and either cleaned or discarded, however aside from “just” some dust, there is no real visible damage which makes it hard to comprehend.  

Both the city and state health departments are involved, having issued a stop work order and strongly recommending that our family be screened for lead poisoning.  As little  as 1 gram of lead (the size of a sugar packet) spread throughout our entire home is enough to poison a child and our home had significantly more than that. Our girls were exposed to something that could severely affect their mental and physical development.  It could change the rest of their lives and even be potentially fatal.  Thanks to God for answering our prayers though, their tests came back showing normal lead levels.

Bolstered by our friends and faith, and by the seemingly personalized affirmations in “The Story" and Messages each week during our Worship services, we soldiered on, weathering the growing storm of issues with optimism.

Thanks to the help of Paul Davis Restoration, we have been able to make progress.  Everything that was in our home has been removed, either taken to their warehouse for cleaning or discarded.  Our home sits completely empty, awaiting new attic insulation, window coverings, carpeting, furniture, other household items and hopefully sooner than later, our family!

It’s incredibly overwhelming for us to look at the numbers.  Roof quotes that we have received are approximately $10,000 and the cost to complete the renovation, pay for the clean-up due to lead dust and replacement of unsalvageable items is more than $40,000.

We are forever grateful for any help, prayes and support we receive!  Getting back into our home means that we can begin to heal from this unthinkable situation and once again look toward the future of our family.
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Bettina Zivney
Milwaukee, WI

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