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.