Our Programs: Ramp Up

By | Our Programs, Ramp Up | No Comments

Our mobility is something that many take for granted. We walk up the steps to our house. We leave the house and go to doctor appointments. We go out and visit with our friends.

However, not everyone has the ability to do these things. Did you know that in Indiana alone, there are 488,000 people who deal with ambulatory issues – trouble walking that often requires a wheelchair, walker, or cane? Of that number, most are elderly, and 109,000 fall below the poverty line.

When you cannot easily access your home, your quality of life is severely diminished.

For those with ambulatory issues, decreased mobility makes it extremely difficult to go out and do the things one has done their entire life. Going to see the grandkids, going to church, shopping – all these things become borderline impossible if you have to crawl on your hands and knees to get down your front steps.

They are forced to make a choice: continue on with their lives but go through pain every time they want to leave the house, or rarely leave their home and live a lonely, isolated existence.

The best way to rectify situations like these is to build a ramp up to the front door. Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle between individuals and easy access to their home is often finances.

 

“Going to see the grandkids, going to church, shopping – all these things become borderline impossible if you have to crawl on your hands and knees to get down your front steps.”

Living with a disability is costly; in the U.S., the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over 25% of all health care expenditures in the United

Before we built her a lamp, Emily had to literally crawl up and down her front steps. Thanks to SAWs and volunteers from the Bowen Center, she can now come and go from her home without pain.

States are related to disability. In Indiana, conservative estimates show that each person with disability pays nearly $6,500 per year in disability costs.

When you’re a low income household and have a disability, it can be hard to make ends meet. For many, especially low-income individuals with ambulatory issues, coming up with an extra $3,500-$8,000 for a new ramp just isn’t financially viable.

Home access for for those with ambulatory issues is a huge need that we at HOW want to help fill. By partnering with Servants at Work, Inc. (SAWs), an organization that has built over 2,000 ramps in Indiana since it began in 2003, we connect individuals in need of assistance with those willing to build a ramp for them – for free. With help from donors and volunteers who come alongside SAWs ramp designers to actually construct the ramps, we lead those in need back towards a healthy, sociable lifestyle.

Like most other large-scale issues, many people end up looking around for the person or group that will stand up and take initiative to solve the problem. Rik Hagarty, founder of SAWs, quotes Ronald Reagan and others when he asks potential partners, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Be the “who.” Make “when,” now. Help us going forward and be the person or group that takes a stand for those who need it. You can donate to HOW and our other life-changing programs, or you can sign up to be a volunteer and work on ramps or other projects.


If you would like to learn more about the ways HOW impacts our community or attend any of our classes, including our Home Energy Impact class or our Lifecycles of Homeownership class, please reach out to us! You can contact us at (574) 269-7641 ext. 106, fill out this form, or follow us on Facebook.  Additionally, you can come to our offices at 109 W Catherine St. Milford, IN 46542. We are always looking for donors and volunteers so that we can impact the lives of more people!
At Housing Opportunities of Warsaw, our mission is to encourage and expand safe and affordable housing by providing opportunity and choice through investment in people and communities.  Through educational courses, emergency home repair and home retrofit programs, assessing homes for health risks, and transitional housing, we are dedicated to helping our neighbors get through times of difficulty and become self-sufficient once more.

 

Our Programs: Upson House Transitional Housing

By | Our Programs, The Upson House | No Comments

One of our most impactful programs is our Transitional Housing program. Located in Warsaw, the Upson House is a duplex that provides housing for those escaping domestic violence. On top of a safe place to live, residents are given rental assistance and an alarm system so they no longer need to fear.  Much more than just a place to live, the Upson House offers a place for families to obtain self-sufficiency as they heal.

While at the Upson House, residents are connected with community resources. They are pointed towards future rental assistance as they prepare to move for the future. They are also given the chance to attend our responsible home ownership, healthy home, and home energy courses.

Before our cleanup day, the Upson House was in dire need of a makeover. We needed to make the unit look new again so we could move someone else in who needed a fresh start.

Recently, though, we were faced with a problem: One half of the Upson House needed a radical makeover. One of our units was a disaster zone; broken materials lay everywhere, countless abandoned items lined the halls and drawers, and the carpet was absolutely trashed. Without help, it would have taken our staff weeks to clear out and clean up the inside.

Thankfully, we aren’t the only organization in the community that wants to transform lives. Our friends at Fellowship Missions share our aspirations, aiming to help “get residents [of their programs] plugged into the community and become self-sustaining members who make meaningful contributions.” Their mission runs parallel to what we strive to do with the Upson House.

HOW Executive Director Pam Kennedy alongside volunteers Marvin Mullins, Clint Fitch, and Joseph Wilcox from Fellowship Missions.

Three members of Fellowship Missions’ programs came alongside us a few weeks back and removed the trash, gathered left-behind items to donate, and moved some very heavy cabinetry up from the basement – all  in less than a day!

The work ethic these gentlemen exhibited was exemplary. They completed each task (no matter how dirty) without complaint and were genuinely joyful as they worked. As we toiled and ate with them, we were able to learn about them and their stories, building relationships and telling them about services we provide that they might want to utilize later in their own journeys toward self-sufficiency.

By the end of the day, the house was unrecognizable in the best way possible. The floors were clear of items and swept clean, and the entire unit looked ready for new tenants.

The Upson House is one of the programs we are most proud of.  Two final steps are needed before we can move in a new family, however. We will be re-carpeting the second floor of the unit soon.  Additionally, the walls are in need of a fresh coat of paint, which we are currently looking for volunteers to help us with! If you have any interest in helping prep the house for new residents, please contact us! By donating your time, you will help us aid a new family in escaping from domestic abuse and starting a new stage of life. The Upson House is one of our favorite programs; it brings us great joy to guide people to a safer, happier, self-sufficient lifestyle.

The cleaned-out living room of the Upson House

The upstairs of the Upson House


If you would like to learn more about the ways HOW impacts our community or attend any of our classes, including our Home Energy Impact class or our Lifecycles of Homeownership class, please reach out to us! You can contact us at (574) 269-7641 ext. 106, fill out this form, or follow us on Facebook.  Additionally, you can come to our offices at 109 W Catherine St. Milford, IN 46542. We are always looking for donors and volunteers so that we can impact the lives of more people!
At Housing Opportunities of Warsaw, our mission is to encourage and expand safe and affordable housing by providing opportunity and choice through investment in people and communities.  Through educational courses, emergency home repair and home retrofit programs, assessing homes for health risks, and transitional housing, we are dedicated to helping our neighbors get through times of difficulty and become self-sufficient once more.