ANDERSON, Ind. - An Indiana Army veteran who was severely wounded in Afghanistan says a non-profit group gave him the keys to an unfinished house in 2015.
Two years later, Tim Senkowski says work on the house was never finished, or done poorly.
The house was constructed and donated to Senkowski and his family by The Path Home, an Indiana non-profit group dedicated to helping Hoosier veterans. The keys were given to Senkowski in October 2015 and the family was able to move in around Thanksgiving that year.
But, Senkowski says, shortly after TV cameras left the key ceremony two years ago, workers building the house stopped coming around and the project was aborted.
Senkowski says there is still a one-inch gap under his front door because it has installed improperly. Interior doors were never installed in the house, so he has been doing that himself. Cabinets and closets were measured incorrectly and trim was never installed on several base boards around the home.
Outside the house, some of the siding has already come off from windstorms and windows are not weather sealed, Senknowski says. He also says he only has a wheelchair ramp going to his front door because of a grant through the VA. The ramp was never built with the house.
Senkowski says he’s grateful that he and his family have a house to live in. But his injuries have limited his ability to continue fixing things that were never done in the house. Senkowski lost both legs to an IED and sustained muscle damage to his right arm.
“I’ve only got one fully functional hand and a partial hand, I really can’t hang a door properly,” he said.
Senkowski says union contractors stopped coming around in 2015 after the public dedication ceremony. After that, he says The Path Home started hiring “YouTube experts.”
“It was a cluster of just randomness. Nothing was ready when it needed to be ready,” Senkowski said. “A ragtag crew probably could have done better.”
The page dedicated to the house project on The Path Home website indicates the non-profit ran out of money for the project at some point:
“Due to lack of funds to complete the home, there were a few things left to be finished that Tim and his family are working on.”
Phone calls to The Path Home office in Greenfield were not returned Wednesday.
Senkowski says he hesitates to complain too much about a house that was given to his family. But he feels The Path Home used him and his house to promote their organization in the media without actually finishing the work.
“Showing off for the cameras, making yourself look better. Now look at what happens,” Senkowski said. “No offense, now you’ve got me trying to make sure other veterans, other soldiers out there aren’t going to get hurt.”
Tim’s mother Tamara says she has been inundated with phone calls since her son’s story went public. She says anyone who wants to reach out can call her at her Anderson office, TLR Inspirations, which specializes in mental health for veterans. That number is (765) 356-4753.