Water in the basement.

That’s what Tom and Haley Perrin thought they would be dealing with when leaving their home the night the dams broke.

They evacuated with very little, expecting to return back home to their belongings the next day. They found refuge at their family store in Downtown Midland, hunkering down on the floor together to find comfort through the night.

Unable to sleep, they found themselves scrolling social media. Post after post showed the reality of what was happening to their neighbors and community.

That’s when it sank in. Their lives would be drastically changed and the damage to their home would be significant – if not a complete devastation.

Devastating reality.

“Returning home after the flood was really traumatic. We saw photos of other damaged homes and knew it was going to be bad, but we didn’t expect it to overwhelm us the way it did,” shared homeowners Tom and Haley. “The water was almost to the ceiling. Nearly everything we had…was ruined.”

As the days after the flood went by, Tom and Haley sat near the Tridge talking about what to do. They were expecting their first child soon and having a safe place to live was more important than ever.

They began their recovery journey by talking with their mortgage and insurance companies. After a few discussions, it was decided that saving their home was possible, and they set out to do just that.

Journey back home.

Their journey back home was filled with challenges. Hope of returning home was fading until Tom and Haley were connected with their Disaster Case Manager, Raegan Schultz, through United Way of Midland County. Raegan started connecting the pieces of the puzzle for the Perrin Family. She offered resources, emotional support and advocacy to get them the help they needed.

“Raegan was great to work with,” shared Tom. “Although I wish we didn’t have this experience that led us to needing her help, we are incredibly grateful to have had her on our side through this recovery. If she didn’t have an answer, she found it. If she didn’t have the resources herself, she connected us to the people and places that did.”

This young family was referred to Habitat for Humanity as part of a partnership with United Way. Along with Raegan and the team at Habitat, Perrin’s developed a plan to restore their home and got to work.

Almost home.

In just a few weeks, Tom, Haley, their baby boy Oliver and Haley’s sister Paige will finally be moving back home. After living in spare rooms with friends and family for a long two years, they are overjoyed to push play on their lives again, together as a family–at home.

“I don’t believe there is a word in the English language that truly describes how grateful we are,” shared Tom and Haley. “With the help of United Way, Habitat for Humanity and Raegan we are able to move back home.”