KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Cpl Visnu Gonzalez, a paralyzed veteran, came home to a brand new house. On Nov. 10, John Gonsalves, founder of Homes for Our Troops, presented Gonzalez with the keys to his custom-made home in Hillsdale, N. J. Thanks to the help of volunteer labor and materials, Gonzalez received his new home at no cost — but with the heartfelt thanks of a grateful nation. While serving in Iraq, Gonzalez was shot by a sniper several times, resulting in his paralysis from the upper chest down.
The barrier-free, specially adapted home constructed for Gonzalez achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-H Platinum Certification and is the first New Jersey Climate Choice residential home constructed in the state. Ray Rosewall, president of DaVinci Roofscapes, was on hand to honor Gonzalez and assist at the ceremony. “We’re extremely proud to supply the roofing tiles for this house and other homes as part of our sponsorship and support for Homes for Our Troops,” said Rosewall. “The entire experience of being involved in this group build effort has made quite an impression on our entire company. “We’re eager to get started on our next project home with Homes for Our Troops. It’s a privilege to support the efforts of seriously injured service people who are trying to move on with their lives.”
DaVinci Slate gray roofing tiles were installed on the 1,837-square foot Gonzalez home in conjunction with solar panels from Solar Living, Inc. Together, the roofing tiles and solar panels supported the goal of the project to “build green and stay green.” The Gonzalez home is the first Homes for Our Troops LEED-H Platinum project house constructed since the organization began a partnership in 2008 with The Sierra Club Foundation. Every Homes for Our Troops project relies heavily on volunteer labor.