InvestigatorsMatter for Mallory


85-year-old homeowner gifted new roof after contractor abandoned the job

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Apr 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 18:30:01-04

BALTIMORE — An 85-year-old woman is out thousands of dollars after a contractor took her money then failed to repair her roof. He left it in worse shape than he found it causing additional leaks and damage.

“It just pours down, and in the middle room it’s the same way,” Ozzie Campbell, the homeowner, told WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii back in January.

At the time, Campbell felt she had lost everything. Her home was in such disrepair she couldn't sleep in her own bed, she no longer had the money to fix it, and she didn't know where she would go if she had to move.

“I thought they were fixing my roof, and they weren’t. They just took my money and left and didn’t come back. And this is the only place I can stay,” said Campbell.

SM Masonry and Construction isn't licensed in Maryland and didn't respond to Sofastaii’s calls and emails. Campbell's family was unable to find an address for Hugh Doyle, the owner listed on the contract, to hold him responsible for the damage leaving them with little to no options.

This stressful situation impacted Campbell’s health, but the response has lifted her spirits.

READ MORE: Homeowner devastated as roofing company takes $5,000, abandons vital repairs

Following Sofastaii’s report, a local business and a non-profit from Atlanta volunteered to replace Campbell’s roof at no cost.

“I was like, this is my job. I want to do this. I want to take care of this homeowner,” said Virgil Murphy, the owner of Shared Stories Home and Remodeling, a Baltimore-based business.

And Murphy teamed up with The Roof Gallery, a non-profit based in Atlanta and Superior Seamless Gutters in Rosedale.

“The roofing industry usually has like a bad reputation to it, so we want to fix that reputation and we do that by leading by example. And first by fixing that mistake, getting her a good roof, and then going from there,” said Donavan Morgan, the founder of The Roof Gallery and CEO of Roofs by Don.

Morgan managed the funding component while Murphy and his team handled the labor.

“Three days from 9 A.M. until 10 o'clock at night. You know, after it got dark, it was pretty much just cleaning up and getting everything ready,” said Murphy who had to work around heavy rain and unexpected challenges. “The roof, it was about nine layers of material. And in the state of Maryland, the building code allows only for two layers, no more than that.”

But Murphy said they were determined to do whatever necessary to help Ms. Campbell.

“If you saw the inside of the house on a day that it's raining. I mean, it's no different from outside. It was raining inside just as much. It was horrible. And I think about my mom, my aunts, my grandmother, my sister and all that, if it was me in that situation, I'd be doing the first thing I can to get that taken care of,” said Murphy.

He and Morgan did that by fully replacing Ms. Campbell’s roof at no cost to her.

“No more rain in my house! I can sleep in my bed. Thank you, Lord. Thank you,” Campbell exclaimed. “I mean, I just can’t express how it is that I don’t have no money but I’m getting my roof fixed! These people are here and just loving it.”

And her daughters, Vickie Cross and Vee Jones-Hurt, who first contacted WMAR-2 News about this situation, were there to see all of the people working to fix up their mother’s home.

“We’re thankful to you and we thank God that he saw fit to send you our way, we will not forget Mallory,” said Jones-Hurt. “You got it done, you were the initiator of the project. We thank you so very much.”

However, it was the kindness of strangers wanting to help someone who’d been taken advantage of while making Baltimore a better place.

“My biggest thing was to try to rebuild Baltimore as much as I can. Little by little, if I can, or you know, 10 years from now, if I can be the main contractor to do every roof on this road, that would be awesome but whatever we can do to make it beautiful again,” said Murphy.

The inside of Campbell's home still needs to be repaired. She was approved for assistance through the city's LIGHT program.

According to a spokeswoman with the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development, after an inspector reviews and approves the roof repairs, Campbell can select a contractor to do the interior work with the allotted funding.

For additional information on the LIGHT program and services available, click here.

For more information on Shared Stories Home and Remodeling, click here. They can be reached at 667-444-1816.

And more details on The Roof Gallery can be found here as well as Superior Seamless Gutters.