BILLINGS — A group of Billings businesses rallied together recently to help a recovery and treatment home for women coming out of prison recover from flood damage.
The all-women's home is called Jeremiah Home and was scheduled to start accepting residents in January before the home flooded twice in November.
Home Director Tomi Gray said the damage had her worried that their project may never get off the ground.
"There was black mold growing and I was starting to feel defeated," Gray said. "But I put a post out on Facebook asking for plastic to cover our new carpet."
Gray's post was asking for the bare minimum, knowing that practically the entire flooring in the basement needed to be replaced. Fortunately, the post garnered the attention of the right people.
Servpro employee Sarah Kreiter saw the post and immediately got in touch with her boss.
"I was just like, 'Well, I feel like we could help,'" Kreiter said. "This is what we do."
Servpro is a restoration and cleanup company and when Kreiter showed her boss the post, he was immediately all in on helping out. So Kreiter made a video urging people in the community to lend a hand.
Ultimately, more than enough help was given. Tana Lee of Red Truck Realty, Jesse Grossman of New Generation Builders, Craig and Jared Wicks of C Bar J Mechanical, and Rob Zimmerman of The Carpet Garage all got involved with the process.
"I was overwhelmed," Kreiter said. "It makes me emotional. Just the outpouring of love and compassion from this community is really, really something."
The basement has been cleaned up and is now back on schedule to accept residents in January. Music to the ears of Gray, who knows firsthand how damaging addiction can be.
"I was addicted to everything under the son for thirty years," Gray said. "I wound up in federal prison and it was there that I hit rock bottom's basement."
That was in 2017 before Gray got her life back on track. Now with Jeremiah Home she's hoping to pay it forward.
"I knew that was my mission in life was to reach out to other women in my situation and show them that your life can change and it can get better," Gray said.
It's looking like she will get that chance just like she expected. Thanks to many in the community, however, Kreiter had one more surprise for Gray on Thursday morning.
"The last thing we needed was to raise funds for flooring and Servpro is going to purchase your floors for you," Kreiter told Gray, who immediately had tears in her eyes. "So everything is paid for and we will start building this home tomorrow at 8:30 in the morning."
A moment that understandably had Gray emotional and one that left her speechless.
"There are no words for it," Gray said. "There are no words for it. It's just amazing."