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Help Matt Get His House Back

$8,760 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 101 people in 7 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created February 8, 2018
Matt Laubach bought his house in Eugene, Oregon almost 29 years ago using only his own savings, without a mortgage.  All this time, he has been finding what work he can, and volunteering much of his time to improve his community.  At 65 years old, Matt was forced out of his own house, and is now living in a homeless shelter!  This is a request for donations that will help Matt get his roof repaired and get back into the house he owns. 
 
In 2015, 2016, and 2017, Matt volunteered at the Egan Warming Center, preparing and serving food to the homeless.  Little did he suspect that in December 2017, only days before his birthday and Christmas, he would be evicted from his own house and suddenly thrust out into the cold as a homeless person himself!  The city inspected, declared his house uninhabitable, and put a lock on the front door.  He is now allowed inside only during the daytime when the city comes and unlocks the door.  He is performing cleanup but cannot afford to repair the roof.  At this point, there may be structural damage underneath the shingles.

Matt is an extraordinary talented and kind person who has fallen on hard times.  Matt has degrees in computer science, broadcasting, and computer network operations.  He has worked for many years in distance learning television, community television, video and audio recording, radio broadcasting, and computer network support.  His work has benefited the community, and much of his work has been donated.

Matt has generously provided his talents as a volunteer in his community many times over the decades.  For many years, he has volunteered his services singing bass in his city’s concert choir, producing videos and supervising scripts for an independent film production group, reviewing films for the Eugene International Film Festival, fundraising for the community radio station, and preparing and serving food to the homeless. 

But in September 2014, at the age of 61, Matt was laid off from his main job at a community college radio station, due to a drop in student enrollments.   That loss nearly eliminated his already low income.  Since then, Matt has constantly searched for work.   He had just started a couple of temporary jobs when he slipped on a slick floor in a café and broke his hip in November 2016!  He spent the next year recovering, and was unable to work for several months.  After he was evicted from his house, Matt contracted the flu in the homeless shelter, and the flu developed into pneumonia.  Fortunately, he got treatment in a hospital and survived. 

His house is Matt’s only asset, and he needs to try to save it.  So far we have found no funding available to help.  So we are asking for donations.  Matt has worked hard to volunteer to help others, and he normally does not ask for help from others.  He would prefer to work and save the money.  But it has become impossible for him.  He agreed to allow me to post this message to ask for donations.  He is a kind, unselfish, hardworking, and worthy person.  Thank you for anything you can do to help.
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We have decided that this campaign has been a success (in Matt's words, a "smashing success"), so we are closing it. Matt sends his heartfelt thanks to all donors! The campaign has accomplished the goals of getting Matt back into his house and repairing the leaky roof. While the City has not closed its case, and there is still much work to be done, Matt is now able to make progress to satisfy them for a while. He plans to apply the remaining funds to pay the City's fines and meet their requirements. Thanks again to everyone!
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Matt's roof has finally been replaced! Photos of the recent work and the finished product are included here. It was a busy season and took a long time to get bids and to get the work scheduled, so it was not until September 14 that the roof finally was completed, fortunately before the rainy season begins.

The roofers stripped off three layers of shingles, replaced several sheets of plywood, reinforced several trusses to secure them, covered the roof with felt, and replaced the shingles. This roofing company does not do gutters or drainage, so Matt plans to contract with someone else for that job.

Matt is very pleased with this accomplishment and sends his gratitude to everyone who donated!
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Good news: Matt is back in his house! This is a major milestone, but much work remains. Impressed by his progress inside the house, by the outpouring of assistance from neighbors and friends, and by the contributions on GoFundMe towards roof replacement, the city has allowed him to return. But the work is not done, and an inspector will check on his progress every two weeks.

The city condemned the house for two reasons: fire hazard and roof. Matt was allowed back into the house after he cleared three rooms to meet fire codes, but there are still five rooms that need to be cleared. Now Matt is able to get bids on the roofing work. Besides roof replacement, funding is needed to test for mold, perform mold abatement, replace kitchen cabinets, fix ceilings in the bedroom and kitchen, and repair electrical wiring. At least two areas of the roof have serious leaks, so the plywood will have to be replaced. We plan to leave this campaign in place with its $20,000 goal, for now.

Matt sends his heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to this fund, and to everyone who came to his house and helped him with his work. The city indicated that they had never seen this much public response and support in this kind of situation. All your help has made a difference. Much remains to be done, but Matt wishes to express his gratitude for what has been accomplished so far.

Matt says, "I want to thank David Monk for placing a tarp on the roof to stop the rain leaking into the house, and transporting boxes to storage. Thanks to my neighbors Sharon for use of her trailer for hauling trash and blackberries to the dump, and Jason Benjiat and his sister for moving boxes to storage. Thanks to Dean Middleton for removing trash from the carport. Thanks to Bill and the Friendly Area Neighbors for cutting blackberries and removing yard debris. Thanks to Xoscitl for organizing my kitchen and office to pass city inspection. Thanks to Dylan Hicks for hauling computers to Next Step Recycling and tracing the house wiring. Thanks to Rob Castleberry and Wayne Martin for hauling donations to Saint Vincent de Paul. Thanks to Jivadhara and Vishvadeva for taking care of laundry and allowing me to shower at their house. I want to thank the Eugene Mission for housing and feeding me for 4.5 months while I was homeless."
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$8,760 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 101 people in 7 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created February 8, 2018
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