Like most days, Marie was helping Bob down the steps of their mobile home. His wheelchair did not fit down the steps and he couldn’t get down without assistance. Then the worst happened. His arm bumped into Marie, making her lose her balance, and they both fell off the steps. Her cellphone fell out of her pocket and they laid on ground shouting for help until she finally managed to reach her phone and call a friend to come help them get up. Laying for an hour on the ground unable to get up was the last straw and they decided to apply for the Habitat Home Repair Program.
Marie and Bob needed to replace those steps with a ramp so that they could easily access their home. However, there are rules about how you attach to and around a mobile home. We couldn’t support the ramp by attaching it to the home or to the ground. So, we did the only thing we could – we built a free standing, self-supported ramp that replaced their steps, making it safe for them to get in and out of their home!
This wasn’t all they needed. The steps were not the only hinderance to getting out of the house. The door was a sliding glass door, making it difficult for Marie to open due to arthritis, and it wasn’t wide enough so Bob’s wheelchair wouldn’t fit properly. So, we replaced their old aluminum sliding door with a new set of doors that Marie can open and are wide enough for Bob to safely walk out using his walker.
Their mobile home also had the old aluminum crank out windows that left their house feeling drafty and cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Many of them didn’t even close properly creating a problem for possible water damage and insects. So, we replaced all of the windows to keep their home warm and dry! Marie expressed her excitement in how her “house doesn’t look like a trailer; it looks like a home!”
With everything we were able to do their daily life has improved. Their home has been warmer though the cold winter months. The ramp “blows them away” because it is so much easier. Marie can put their own garbage out now! She can help Bob make his way down the ramp to tend to his plants and sit in the sun.
They are so thrilled with the improvements to their home that they share our program with everyone around them, letting them know that there is a way for them to make the repairs to their homes that won’t cost them too much money. Bob and Marie were able to pick a payment plan that they could afford and they only have to repay the cost of materials. Marie told us that “it feels like a miracle that we could help them,” and we are so thankful that we have amazing supporters and donors that make it possible.