GREENE – Upon first glance, the ramp leading to the door of Shelly Wickam's front door looked easy enough to walk without much trouble, but a closer look revealed that the makeshift wheelchair access into the main entrance of the home was impractical and potentially dangerous; something needed to be done.
“This is unsustainable and insufficient,” said Jim Willard, a Director of The Impact Project – a local nonprofit that offers major necessary home repairs to elderly, low-income and disabled homeowners throughout five counties in central New York.
Willard, who had been contacted earlier in the year by a Chenango Catholic Charities employee with concern of Wickam's project, knew right away that the point of entry was a disaster waiting to happen.
“Unfortunately, this is not uncommon – and often times folks will end up getting hurt as a result,” said Willard of the potentially dangerous primary entrance. “We take measures to ensure basic safety for individuals with disabilities all the time; that's one of the reasons we're here.”
While most homeowners consider replacing a small porch or some steps routine maintenance, these projects can come at a hefty cost, making it all but impossible for those living on a fixed income to budget.
After identifying the scope of work to be performed, Willard and his group of volunteer tradesmen would make quick work of demolishing and disposing of the former makeshift ramp. A new design and structure of adequate slope - complete with a new poured concrete base and parking slab –would be completed in a matter of just two short days.
For more than 11 years, The Impact Project has transformed the lives of hundreds of homeowners in Chenango, Broome, Otsego, Tioga and Steuben counties. The organization, headquartered just off the east shoulder of State Highway 12 in Greene completes an average of 12 projects per year with an average project cost of three-to-four thousand dollars...