By Rosemary K. Otzman
On June 30, officials from Van Buren Township and a crowd of other well-wishers welcomed Sgt. Todd Beesely, his wife Jennifer, and their six children into their new, mortgage-free home at 7114 Belle Pointe Drive.
After her welcoming remarks, VBT Supervisor Linda Combs said the family should let the township know if they have any problems and, “We hope you stay a long time.”
Also on hand were Sr. Vice President and Regional Sales Executive of Bank of America Mark Stevens. He said in 2012 his bank had pledged to turn around 1,000 foreclosed properties and they hit that goal in early June.
Keisha Sanders, chief operating officer of National Faith Home Buyers, was present to tell how they helped get the home for the Beesley family to offer them a hand up.
Bob Miller of National Faith had the idea to give a veteran a home and they worked with Bank of America’s veterans’ program. There were lots of people involved in making the Beesleys’ home a reality for them, including a veteran who drove up from Peoria three or four times to do special woodworking on the cabinets in the house. The finish was still drying when the house was turned over to the family.
Also on hand to say a few words were Kevin Kelley, director of Wayne County’s Department of Senior and Veteran Services, and T.F. Sclielein, Sr., 1st Sgt./USMC (ret), division director of the county’s Veterans Services.
The gift of the home was announced the day after Christmas at half time at the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit. The servicemen thought they were on the field just to say hi to the crowd and hand over the game ball.
But what happened was a complete surprise and Sgt. Beesley said, “When they announced that, I literally thought I could have passed out.”
The Beesleys didn’t want to move their family from Flat Rock to Belleville until their son Todd, Jr. had graduated from high school, so June 30 was the day set for the move-in.
Beesley and his wife Jennifer have six children: Todd, Jr., 17; Kyle, 15; Ashley, 12; Collin, 10; Jayden, 2; and Jayce, 1.
The family ran out of room in its modular home in Flat Rock. The living room was Jayden’s bedroom and the den was a nursery.
Also receiving a new home, this one in Detroit, were Army Lt. Anthony Ashford and his wife and family of Detroit. Lt. Ashford lost his health-care job in September and was struggling to pay the rent. Now he has a house to share with his wife Kaprina and three sons.
Dina Harris with National Faith was unable to be on hand Monday, but after the surprise announcement on Dec. 26 she said, “The homes that they are getting are beautiful and it’s going to give them a hand up that they much deserve. For these married veterans with children, it means they can provide a better life for their families.”
The Beesley’s home in VBT was worth $235,900 when it was new in 2005. It went into foreclosure in December, 2012.
By Rosemary K. Otzman