PETALUMA, California -- When a World War II veteran fell behind on some of his home upkeep, his community came together to lend a hand thanks to an unlikely helper, reports NBC's Joe Fryer.
An overgrown lawn's worst enemy just might be Petaluma, California, code enforcer Joe Garcia, whose job is to drive through neighborhoods and look for "junk properties."
One property in particular recently caught his eye and is the subject of three years worth of complaints.
But instead of getting a citation, homeowner Al Pericou got a surprising show of compassion.
Dozens of community members came to Pericou's house to help with the jobs around the yard the 90-year-old war veteran could no longer complete. They also helped inside the house, replacing a leaky sink and rotting floors.
"Thanks isn't good enough," laughed Pericou.
Garcia rounded up the resources with help from Jane Hamilton, who works with the non-profit organization Rebuilding Together to fix up homes for those in need.
"It's a nice way to treat people. So rather than come down on them, give them a helping hand," said Hamilton.
Pericou how has a spotless yard and a bathroom that is practically good as new.
"It's amazing, you know. Yeah, pretty lucky," he said.