Our own Paul Bohn recently joined an effort to help save a Livingston County Veteran’s home, just as he was on the verge of becoming homeless. Paul Bohn and other local attorneys donated their time to negotiate with the redeeming buyer, securing an affordable life lease for the Veteran, Ross Dahlberg, so he could live in his home until he chooses to leave.
And when we say “on the verge of becoming homeless,” it’s true. The deal to save Dahlberg’s home was closed less than 24 hours before he would have lost his home.
Dahlberg said he was overwhelmed with emotions. And he said of his home: "I'm here until I die."
Here is the full story from the Livingston Daily:
Last week, Brighton couple Keli Murillo and Jay Bobel, CEO of Northville-based Spartan Equities, stepped forward to put forth more than $142,000 in fees associated with saving Hamburg Township resident Ross Dahlberg's home.
"It's a miracle come true," said Dahlberg, a Korean War-era veteran.
The veteran's home was ultimately sold at a sheriff's auction to Day Glo LLC in March due to what Joshua Parish, a veterans benefits counselor, believes was an error by the state's Step Forward Program. Dahlberg fell behind on mortgage payments because of a divorce and medical issues, which put him in and out of the hospital and rehab care.
A state official refuted Parish's claim that Dahlberg's completed application was received by the state homeownership office on time.
If it weren't for Bobel and Murillo, Parish said he was told "Day Glo LLC was going to have the Sheriff's Department come remove Mr. Dahlberg from his home."
Bobel, whose company regularly assists with home redemptions in the county, said he saw the opportunity to "do good" after reading a Daily Press & Argus article on the topic, which prompted him to call Parish.
"Something just didn't sound quite right to me, and I wanted to help," Bobel said.
Parish's mission to help Dahlberg stay in his home became a community effort in July when he launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign in hopes of securing $130,000 needed to reclaim the home before a six-month redemption period that expired Thursday. Those funds will be transferred into a secure account and go toward Dahlberg's tax payments on the home, where he will virtually live for free.
"I want to go out in the parking lot and do a little dance," Parish said Thursday. "I've exhausted so much time and effort for this project."
The Veterans Affairs official has also secured supplies from Home Depot and Allied Lumber in Howell, Ann Arbor-based Fingerle Lumber and Milford-based ABC Supply to replace Dahlberg's roof that had sustained water damage over a number of years. Work began Thursday by volunteer contractors from Pinckney-based Jim's Roofing.
Dahlberg, who is wheelchair-bound due to the effects of diabetes, said he has met a number of "good people" during his struggle whom he would like to thank. He is now receiving home health assistance seven days per week through a Veterans Affairs program.
"At the moment, I'm a little choked up," Dahlberg said Thursday afternoon. "I'm overwhelmed with emotions.
"I'm here until I die," he said of his home.
Other important players in the effort included attorneys Paul Bohn and John Drury, and Howell-based Matecun, Thomas and Olson PLC, Parish said.
Originally posted Livingston Daily September 25: