A milestone build – project number 400 – was for a 68 year old gentleman, living with MS since he was diagnosed at age 19. Mr. McCrorey struggled to get in and out of his home and due to this progressive disease, for the last 8 years, was crawling down his outside steps to get into his car.
A wheelchair ramp for the McCrorey home was built on Friday, April 5th, with manpower for the project provided by members of the Salisbury Lions and students of the LEO club at James M Bennett High School.
“It was an experience I will never forget!”, said Mr. McCrorey. “The volunteer team was just wonderful and I enjoyed speaking with the kids. I have been out on the ramp 3 or 4 times already and was able to go down it and get into my car. Yesterday was such a beautiful day and I was able to sit on the deck and enjoy being outside. I love that ramp!”
Bay Area CIL received the referral from a community health worker who was looking for more resources for her participant. Under the case management services of Bay Area CIL’s Independent Living Specialist, Dee Still, it did not take long for the consumer to complete his grant application, be approved for services and then be added to Chesapeake Housing Mission’s project list.
Bay Area CIL’s Executive Director, Dr. Katherine L.R. Jones states, “Our partnership with Chesapeake Housing Mission is undeniable. Together, we can assist those who do not have the financial means to remove physical barriers that affect their every day lives. We commend Chesapeake Housing Mission for providing our consumers an opportunity to choose a life of independence rather than a life of living in a nursing or rehabilitative facility.”
As a Christian Mission, “we believe we are called to help one another,” said CHM Executive Director Donald Taylor. “We do critical home repair but most of our projects involve building wheelchair ramps, giving back our clients the freedom and independence to remain in their homes.”
All of CHM’s clients are identified as living below the poverty level and are referred by local agencies, including Bay Area CIL. Partnerships with these local agencies help Chesapeake Housing to locate those with the greatest need and to bring volunteers and clients together to tackle projects that will improve living situations.
“The families we have helped have impacted our lives as much as we have impacted them,” Taylor said. “Our several thousand volunteers often take away from the work more than they give. That warm feeling of doing what Jesus would ask us to do, ‘Love thy Neighbor’.”
A special thank you to Paul Butler, Director of Communications & Community Outreach for Wicomico County Public Schools, for putting together this fantastic video.