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Accessibility – A Growing Ministry Opportunity All Around Us

A family using their wheelchair rampOne of the things we have learned in our years of ministry is that volunteers love to build wheelchair ramps. Why? Because they get to turn a big pile of lumber into a critically needed structure which can change someone's life, in one day.

There is a huge need for accessible housing for people struggling with disabilities or the aging process. Did you know that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau*, almost 19% of the civilian non-institutionalized population had a disability in 2010? About 12.6% had a severe disability. Over twelve million people (over age six) are disabled to the point of needing personal assistance for everyday activities. In aggregate, disabled people are the largest minority group in the country, coming in at around 56.7 million. 38.3 million have a severe disability.

As the population ages, these numbers should increase. That means more homeowners who no longer having full access to their homes. Imagine if, suddenly, you could no longer easily get out of your house or into the bathroom. Or that you couldn’t easily get out of the house to see friends and family or even do the everyday tasks we so readily take for granted. These scenarios will likely become increasingly prevalent.

 Ramp Project with HomeownerThere are probably many ways to serve the disabled, here are two:

1) Start a home repair team in your church. Our website has a library, free of cost, to help you start or grow a home repair team in your church. What a beautiful picture - the (formerly) spiritually disabled, redeemed by Christ, helping show the physically disabled the love and grace of God!

2) Make a financial donation to support HRM's work to serve people in need, including those with disabilities. Ramps in particular can be quite expensive to build, and often our clients cannot afford the materials.

*Statistics sourced from Census Bureau report "Americans with Disabilities: 2010 Household Economic Studies” - http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf

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