Archive for May, 2012

Food Trucks for UCP

Bring all your friends for lunch!!! TODAY (Thurs May 31) at Centennial Park from around 11:00 to 1:00 near the train — across from HCA! Food Trucks from Riffs Fine Street Food will be donating 10% of their lunch proceeds to UCP. The trucks are owned by Mr. B. J. Loffback, president of the Nashville Mobile Food Vendors Association. Greeting everyone at the trucks tomorrow will be Anthony Savankham and his mom, Tricia, along with UCP staff, by the SumYumYum truck. Also, please retweet and repost. Thanks, @riffstruck

May 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

UCP and Statewide Partners Celebrate 2000th Wheelchair Ramp

Ramp Build
Thursday, May 10
Interviews and Photos 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
916 Hermitage Ridge
Hermitage TN 37076

Contact
Deana Claiborne
Phone: 615-242-4091 ex. 102
Email: Deana_Claiborne@ucpnashville.org

Volunteers from Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) are teaming up May 10 with United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee to commemorate construction of the partnership’s 2,000th wheelchair ramp on to the home of a person with a disability.

The ramp will benefit Buddy, a 24-year-old young man who has a severe mobility disability.  Buddy’s disability affects his motor coordination at all levels, meaning he cannot walk or perform any tasks that involve dexterity. Buddy lives in the home with his parents who provide his living supports. He looks forward to having a wheelchair ramp so he can use a power wheelchair to enter and exit his home independently.

The collaboration between THDA, UCP and a variety of statewide organizations has addressed an immense unmet need in Tennessee for persons of low income who have disabilities and have no way to get in and out of their homes without this essential accommodation. Through the program, wheelchair ramps are constructed of people qualifications. THDA dollars have paid for lumber and supplies. UCP and the partner agencies coordinate the ramp builds and provide labor.

According to UCP Executive Director Deana Claiborne, the long economic downturn has been especially hard on people with disabilities and their families, leading to increased waiting lists in the program. “The financial pressure on families is immense when you consider home modifications, extra healthcare expenses, durable medical equipment, and caregiving supports.” A wheelchair ramp gives a person the most basic access to the community, making it possible to participate in transportation, work, school, worship, healthcare, grocery shopping, and many other activities that people often take for granted.

A well-designed wheelchair ramp ensures the safety of both the person with a disability and the caregiver who would otherwise have to lift the individual up and down steps. UCP builds ramps in the Middle Tennessee area and coordinates ramp building through a variety of partner agencies across other areas of the state.

The program needs the financial assistance of donors in order to meet the unmet need. “We just spent our last dollars in the current THDA grant,” says UCP Home Access Director John Pickett, “But we have a statewide waiting list of 122 applications.” The cost of lumber and supplies for an average ramp is $754. An additional $92,000 is needed just to acquire supplies for people on the waiting lists. That doesn’t include labor costs and the additional need, taking into account new applications that arrive every day.

May 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm Leave a comment

Wheelchair Ramps: Greater Need than Available Funds

John Pickett has to make a hard decision today: When you have a long list of people with disabilities who have immense unmet needs, which one gets the wheelchair ramp? Today, Pickett has 20 people on a waiting list in Davidson County alone, and available funds for only one wheelchair ramp. Pickett is the director of United Cerebral Palsy’s Home Access Program. Through this program, UCP and partner agencies across the state construct wheelchair ramps on to the homes of people with disabilities.

The program also provides limited home modification services such as bathroom modifications and other essential services. Pickett’s problem isn’t new. He has been doing this job since 1999. According to Pickett, there is never enough money to serve all the people who apply for the program. “We do our best to serve people on a first come, first serve basis, but there are other factors that must be considered, with safety of the applicant and the caregiver lifting them up steps being a primary concern.”

Pickett narrowed the list down to the 5 program applicants who have been waiting the longest. They range from 24 to 95 years old. They have disabilities resulting from a variety of conditions, including cerebral palsy, strokes, cancer and lung disease. What they each have in common is the need for a wheelchair ramp because they are not able to independently enter and exit their own homes without this modification and they cannot afford to pay for the ramp.

The program has just depleted the last funds in a grant from Tennessee Housing Development Agency. The average cost for lumber and supplies for a single ramp is $754. “We have 122 people on waiting lists across the state right now,” says Pickett. We need an additional $92,000 just to acquire supplies for people on the waiting lists. That doesn’t include labor costs and the additional need when you take into account new applications that arrive every day.”

The program saves money by enlisting volunteers from area businesses, church groups, civic organizations and schools to build the ramps.  “This is a program that changes lives in less than a day of work,” says Pickett.

To donate or volunteer for the Wheelchair Ramp program, contact:

United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee

1200 9th Avenue North, Suite 110

Nashville TN 37208

615-242-4091

John_Pickett@ucpnashville.org

 

May 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm 1 comment


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