The mission of this program is to keep elderly and/or disabled residents of northwest Indiana safely in their homes or to allow them to return safely to their homes.
The program began in 2005, and in the past 10 years, has utilized a total of 38 Catholic Charities and community volunteers as labor, who have donated a total of 22,441 volunteer hours on the program.
The program volunteers have constructed a total of 423 wheelchair ramps and performed a total of 59 home safety repairs for NWI residents who required accessibility modifications to their home, for safe entry and exit, but were unable to afford the cost of professional contractors.
Many of these residents were homebound with little or no interaction with the community and outside their homes. The Catholic Charities’ wheelchair ramp program’s activities have improved the quality of life for many of these residents and their families by reconnecting them with the community.
The program volunteers attempt to build a minimum of one wheelchair ramp or do one home safety repair each week as long as the ground is not frozen. When the weather causes us to cancel a ramp, an attempt is made to double up during the next week.
The population of northwest Indiana has the second most elderly and/or disabled residents of all areas of Indiana, and therefore the need for this program’s assistance continues to grow. Currently, the total program cost for an average wheelchair ramp is $1,275. To cover these costs, Catholic Charities applies for grants from all local funding sources, but the grant awards are never enough.
Donations to the wheelchair ramp program are accepted and are used only for material costs or volunteer nourishment. New volunteers are also needed. You do not have to be a carpenter to participate; there’s always something you can do and you also can learn. Men and women are welcome. Call us at 219-874-8195 for more information.