A $100,000 grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will be used by Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun to build 150 exterior house ramps for low-income seniors and disabled homeowners in Maricopa County who can no longer safely get in and out of their homes.
The grant for the Arizona Ramp Project will support construction of the ramps which will be built and installed at no cost to homeowners by Rebuilding Together skilled volunteers.
Applications from homeowners are being accepted through the Rebuilding Together Fall Prevention Program by calling (480) 774-0237. Interested volunteers should contact Rebuilding Together at the same number or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Key indicators show that the population in metro Phoenix over 65 will double in the next 40 years,” said Rebuilding Together Executive Director Dennis Flynn. “As the elderly population increases in the Valley and across the state, the number of people who are injured or die as a result of falling also will climb, particularly for those living alone. Ramps into the home are an important safety measure to prevent falls.”
Flynn said that approximately 15 percent of “older adults who live independently are in manufactured home communities. Most mobile homes have three to four steps that were easily navigated when they moved into the home, but became increasingly difficult as they got older.”
The Arizona Ramp Project will build 35 ramps in the first year of the grant, 55 in the second year and 60 in the final year. “Our goal is for the project to be self-sustaining after the third year through donations, team-building projects and other grants,” Flynn said. “We know that the impact of this grant will be safer homes and fewer injuries from falls for many, many seniors. On their behalf, we are truly grateful for this support from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.”
Flynn said that Rebuilding Together volunteers have been assisting individuals where possible with small prefabricated ramps for entryways with rises of three to five feet, but couldn’t build full ramps because of financial restraints.
“In reviewing applications for Fall Prevention services in the past 12 months alone, we identified 50 homeowners who would benefit from an exterior ramp,” he said.
For more information, visit www.rebuildingtogetherphx.org or call (480) 774-0237.