Joe Garcia is a code enforcer in California. His job requires him to drive around Petaluma, California looking for people whose properties are not being properly maintained. One property that caught his attention belonged to World War II veteran Al Pericou, who is 90 years old.
Pericou’s property had been the subject of complaints for three years. Finally, the case came to Garcia’s attention. But instead of a citation, Garcia provided Pericou with compassion.
Jane Hamilton has a nonprofit organization called Rebuilding Together which fixes homes for those who can’t afford to do it themselves. Garcia and Hamilton worked to bring the community together and help Pericou out.
Volunteers fixed up the interior of his home, replacing a sink that leaked and rotting floors. They updated his bathroom and cleaned up his yard.
Hamilton said it was a nicer way to treat people by helping them rather than criticizing them.
Pericou is grateful, not just for the makeover, but also for the love and support he received from the volunteers, NBC News reported.
“It’s amazing. I’m pretty lucky,” Pericou said.
Thanks to Garcia, now considered the greatest enforcer in Petaluma, and a community of volunteers, it was possible to demonstrate that the best code to enforce is a moral code.