Family hit hard by the pandemic sees the bright side
If unemployment was not enough for the Roberts, their roof decided to fail in the middle of the pandemic.
Shaun and Tiffany Roberts live in Anchorage. Shaun Roberts was laid off before COVID-19 but found a job. His wife just started collecting unemployment after the virus took away her ability to practice massage therapy from home.
“It's definitely not easy,” Tiffany Roberts said. “There's been a lot of days with some tears and frustration for sure. And that's where we kind of lean on each other.”
“Three months ago, we found out that our roof had a little crack in the ceiling,” Shaun Roberts said. “We started to open it up and deconstruct it to find out what was going on. Our rafters had rotted away.”
Roberts is in the process of deconstructing his entire house. His insurance did not cover the cost and he expects the repairs to be $70,000.
He said that luckily, the Alaska Coalition for Veterans and Military Families helped him get medical benefits from Veteran Affairs which has helped his family get financial relief.
“The coalition really pushed us to get back with a VA,” he said. “And start a VA claim. Thankfully, with the coalition, they've pushed everything through and I got seen by the doctors there, and it's really helped me out.”
Tiffany Roberts said one of the hardest parts has been staying strong for her 10-year-old and 14-year-old.
"To displace your kids is not fun,” she said. And this is hard because it takes a lot mentally and physically being parents and knowing your children still need you and being there emotionally for them on top of everything else, but we work together and we prevail together."
Shaun and Tiffany say there is still plenty to be happy about. And even though the structure of their home proved to be weak, staying strong as a family is what is getting them through the tough times.
“We work together and we prevail together,” Tiffany Roberts said.