Dozens joining 'Code Vet' program to help veterans in need

TAMPA, Fla. - Nowadays, it's hard for Jessie Urive to find the strength to even stand outside. The veteran said a cancer diagnosis is taking a huge toll.

"I didn't realize how much I let the home go," said Urive.

A home in Lutz he's lived for 17 years and feared losing after racking up thousands in code violations.

"I had such bad overgrowth. It was interfering with my roof," said Urive.

Urive said just when he started losing faith new hope arrived.

David Compton, the president of Bracken Engineering met with Urive personally. Bracken is a company involved in huge projects in the Bay area including massive sinkholes.

Compton said he felt compelled to step in after he heard about the mission of Hillsborough Code Enforcement officer Christine Zien-McCombs.

She started noticing a common thread, veterans racking up code violations and not being able to pay them. So the officer was the force behind "Code Vet," a program launched back in May that helps restores veterans homes.

"I was just kind of really moved by it and felt we needed to get involved in it," said Compton.

Bracken Engineering is just one of dozens signing up to do what they can.

"So we came out here to evaluate the roof," said Compton.

The service typically costing thousands but Bracken's doing it for free and it's wont stop with Urive..

"The vets, we are trying to give back to them in a situation in which they need help," said Compton.

Urive said you can't put a price on it. The roof is actually in phase two and volunteers have already painted his home and cleared out his yard.

"It's hard to accept a helping hand sometimes but I'm glad that I did," said Urive.

The 64-year-old shared with ABC Action News his cancer is in stage four. The program not only helped rebuild his home but is giving him a chance at a better and more peaceful life.

"I just can't thank Code Vet enough," said Urive.

If you would like to help you can click on either of these links:

Print this article Back to Top