Four year old, Ray has a beautiful smile, can taste some foods by mouth, he speaks softly and can hold up his head. He tells us what he wants to do. He wants to stand, jump, and sit. However,Ray has Spinal Muscular Atrophy a deg enerative, neuromuscular disease. As a result, Ray cannot sit up without assistance; he has never crawled or walked. He has a feeding tube to help him get the nutrition he needs. Soon Ray will be getting a power wheelchair, unfortunately there is not enough room in the house for him to maneuver. His mother says, “Our biggest problem right now is where Ray sleeps and bathes. We love the fact that he is upstairs with us, but carrying Ray up and down stairs has become more and more dangerous – he weighs 40 pounds. Many of his nurses do not feel comfortable or secure with this situation. This is becoming more hazardous and a safety issue as Ray grows.
Volunteer Architect David Buckman has designed an addition that will include a new bedroom, a safe accessible bathroom and a playroom with space enough for vital exercise routine. With the help of these life changing home modifications, Ray will be have the freedom to drive his powerchair and participate more fully in family life.
Read about South Brunswick’s fundraising this Halloween in the Sentinel (click image)
Please help us build this new home for Ray. Your donation, of any size, is important and much needed. Since HomeFreeHome is an all-volunteer organization, your donation will go directly to help Ray and his family. For more information regarding this project, Ray and how you can help, please contact Marcy Fantel at email@example.com. OR Laura Montllor at Architect@HomeFreeHome.org.
Our pilot project in Tennesee is for Jerry, a 35-year-old man in Chattanooga. Last November, a stray bullet hit him and left him with permanent paralysis from the neck down. He depends on his mother to take care of him, and has a tube for feeding and is only able to be mobile through the use of a motorized chair that is operated by a control device worn on his head.
Architect, Edmund Garbee volunteered and designed modifications to the single story ranch style house. The Hamilton County Herald newspaper applauded Garbee’s efforts and said he had ” designed a better tomorrow for a mother with a paralyzed son”.
Jerry is still working on rehabilitation in a nursing home. Local community groups and churches are helping to raise funds to make his house safe and ready for when he comes home.
David Rodriguez of Lindenhurst is 22 years old and is a courageous contender. Although, he suffers from loss of mobility and feeling in his extremities, he works hard at physical therapy three times a week and is heroically determined. As a result of an accident two years ago, he needs assistance getting up out of bed and with many daily tasks. David lives with his family of 6, but he is often excluded from family activities, like eating dinner with the others, because his power chair cannot get through the narrow doorways of their small house.
Volunteer Architect Michael Morbillo has designed an addition that will include an accessible ramp into the house, an overhead lift and a bedroom with space enough for his vital exercise routine. With the help of these life changing home modifications, David will be able to live with greater freedom and participate more fully in family life. He and his girlfriend are looking forward to some privacy and more independence.
Please help us build this new home for David. Your donation, of any size, is important and much needed. Since HomeFreeHome is an all-volunteer organization, your donation to will go directly to help David and his family.
To help on the Donation page – select Program Designation as David Rodriguez- Long Island. OR send a check to HomeFreeHome at 66 Hillview Ave. Port Washington, NY 11050 – THANK YOU!
An architect is needed to take up the challenge of designing for Alec and his family who live in Rockford, MI. Ten year old Alec was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which is one of the nine types of Muscular Dystrophy. Now, Alec is slowly losing his ability to walk; he falls often and needs help stepping into and out of the tub, and he will soon be using a motorized wheelchair to get around. DMD is a progressive disease and eventually, Alec will be completely dependent on his parents for all of the tasks of daily living. The Lundy’s home needs an accessible bathroom, bedroom, and ramp to the front door. All the doorways have to be widened. These renovations will allow Alec to be more independent, to spend his time with his family in a supportive environment and play with his two younger sisters.
Like Alec, millions of Americans face the difficult challenge of adjusting to living with a physical disability. Living in a conventionally designed house impedes even the simplest daily living functions.
We now have applications from families in need in many states including; NJ, CA, OK, IN and more are coming everyday. Please consider volunteering your talents.
With the degenerative effects of ALS, Police Sergeant, Roger Petrone requires assistance when transferring from the bed or a chair and depends on others for most or all personal hygiene tasks. Using the cramped bathroom in his old house became extremely dangerous for both Roger and his support caregivers. Volunteer Architect, Andrew Robinson, AIA designed a new bathroom that is both safe and accessible. Many volunteers and the generous donations of materials made this project possible, including the combined support from Greenwich Police Dept. colleagues, local Greenwich businesses and contractors, and Compassionate Care ALS.
Sydni is a delightful girl who will turn 7 this November. Due to a brain tumor, Sydni is non-verbal and is learning to communicate using a high tech device. Despite mobility troubles, she enthusiastically explores the world around her. Defying all medical expectations, she starting walking in a gait trainer, this last year and is making excellent progress. Sydni lives with her mother, sister and brother in South Boston, in a small 800 square foot apartment. The apartment building is only accessible by stairs and it takes two adults to carry Syndi and her wheel chair in and out. Volunteer Architect , Leonardi Aray and Marissa Lisec, intern architect, designed a renovation that includes a safe accessible entrance, an accessible bathroom, new living space and a bedroom large enough for her hospital bed. These changes will greatly improve daily life for Sydni and her whole family. Also, the new space will allow her to continue to work on her physical therapy exercises, aqua therapy and give her chance to strengthen her muscles and walk around independently.Friends and family are working on raising funds for this project. To donate funds for construction select “Home for Sydni” on our donations page.
Danny smiles a lot, is an avid Yankees fan and loves showing us how many sit-ups he can do. When we first met Danny two years ago, he was recovering from an accident with a traumatic brain injury and he was stuck in a hospital bed in the center of the family living room. He needed an accessible bathroom, with a roll in shower to have some privacy.
With a new design by volunteer Jerry Ciccari, Architect, our HFH volunteers from CJ Construction started with the demolition of the existing bedroom and bathroom. With funds from the Town of Hempstead, we were able to construct a new large fully accessible bathroom. A door leads to the backyard deck, which was built by volunteers from Rebuilding Together Long Island.
Dr. Gloria White , Pastor of the Mount Zion Baptist Church says the older members of her congregation are “sometimes weak of body, but always strong of spirit”. Their beautiful stone church has stairs at the front portico and three or more steps at all the entrances. To get to Sunday worship, the food pantry and other vital services the elder members of the congregation all need to be helped or even carried up the steps.
Many of them who could not climb the stairs were excluded from services. The old stone block of the outside steps create a very dangerous situation and even more treacherous when there is rain or snow.
Built in 1886, the classic Gothic Revival church in Newark, New Jersey, does not meet current ADA standards and building codes. Architects Les Tribble and Dave Buckman of Buckman Architectural Group have designed a new ramp that will allow people who use wheelchairs, scooters and walkers to enter the church. In April they completed the plans and applied for a building permit.
Emily was excited to see her new kitchen for the first time when she came home for spring break from Adelphi University. She is really enjoying being able to cook on her own. Her mother , Ellen says “our dream kitchen is finally a reality” !
Both Emily and her mother have limited mobility due to Larsen’s Syndrome, a rare congenital disorder that affects bones and joints. Volunteer Architect, Mark Wittenberg and Vita Burdi of DJ’s Home Improvements, designed a kitchen especially adapted to meet the abilities of mother and daughter. Emily’s space has a countertop that is low with open space to wheel-in underneath. It has a small sink with an easy to use single lever faucet. The low profile induction cook top lets her slide pots on and off . The side by side refrigerator allows Emily to reach the freezer. Other details include: pull out drawers for pots, easy to reach outlets and light switches.
The construction went very smoothly and the Ladau’s say that Vita and Jerry Burdi of DJ’s construction “have been an absolute pleasure to work with”. A special thanks to the following for the generous discounts and timely help with this project; Appliance World, All Island Countertop Fabrication, Consumers Kitchens and Baths, and JP Painting.
At age 64, Paul says has “gotten by and made do” for many years. Paul is an inventor and has ingeniously adapted his 1905s Levitt house to meet his needs. He has installed jerry-rigged ramps and handles, allowing him to push his wheelchair around his house. In his bathroom, the edge of the sink cabinet broke years ago from using it as a grab bar, and getting into the old tub is very dangerous.
Paul was born with cerebral palsy and has limited use of his right arm. Paul values his independence. However, with age, his already erratic muscle control is worsening and he is becoming more dependent on a caregiver.
Paul’s situation is an accident waiting to happen. He is truly one fall away from spending the rest of his life in a nursing home. HFH volunteer architect, Laura Montllor has designed a new bathroom, which includes a wheel-in shower. This will allow Paul to safely maintain his independence and privacy.
Your donation will make his accessible new bathroom a reality in 2011. Please give today!