AXIS member a proud owner of a new Habitat dwelling
AXIS Healthcare member Ron Thomas, a quadriplegic, didn’t know what to expect when he attended a Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) meeting about accessible housing for people with disabilities. “I saw an article in Access Press that Habitat for Humanity was planning to build accessible housing in Plymouth and that people interested could attend a meeting for more information,” Thomas said.
Although Thomas and his girlfriend, Tari Ricci were the only people who attended the meeting, TCHFH encouraged them to apply for consideration. “Unfortunately we were the only two people to attend the meeting,” Thomas said. “We only attended the meeting to show support for the need for accessible housing, but they encouraged us to apply and I’m glad we did.”
Thomas and Ricci were selected as future homeowners and will soon be moving into a new one-level, two-bedroom, accessible townhome in Plymouth. Construction on the home began in August, 2007 and the TCHFH homebuilding process generally takes 10 months to complete. “We will probably be moving in at the end of June or early July,” Thomas said.
Thomas and Ricci were required to finish 300 hours of sweat equity before they could move into their home. Habitat for Humanity requires that all new homeowners put in a set amount of time. “100 hours can be proxied out to other people,” Thomas said. “I completed most of my hours by visiting the construction site, taking photos of the progress and sending the pictures into Habitat for Humanity. They were very accommodating about how we could complete our sweat equity hours. Ricci and I even worked at the Habitat for Humanity office for part of our hours.” Ricci also worked at the site throughout the winter.
Volunteers from a number of different organizations helped out with the building of the home. “I’m really grateful for all the help from my friends, family and the volunteers at AXIS Healthcare and other companies.” Thomas said. In addition to AXIS Healthcare, volunteers from Wells Fargo, Boston Scientific, General Mills and other companies and individuals worked on completion of the home.
“At the start of building, I was out at the site just about every day,” Thomas said. “I enjoyed meeting all the volunteers and I know it was important for them to see the person who would be living in the home. Now, Tari and I try to make it out to the site weekly to document the progress of our new home and to meet the people working on it.”
Volunteers from AXIS Healthcare helped out at the construction site on March 29th. “It was so much fun doing something outside of work with all of my work friends,” said AXIS Healthcare Member Services Coordinator Missy Bottila. “It just goes to show you what wonderful people I work with. I was very proud! I would love to organize a future project with people here at AXIS to do another Habitat for Humanity project.”
AXIS Healthcare is a disability care coordination organization founded in 1997 by Courage Center and Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute as an innovative model of care for people with disabilities. AXIS staff has extensive experience working with people with physical disabilities and use this expertise, and community relationships, to ensure that members get the right care, at the right time, in the right place. More information about AXIS Healthcare and the services available to individuals with disabilities can be found at www.axishealth.com