One of our main goals at TLCIL is ensuring people with disabilities do whatever they feel in necessary to maintain or gain independence. A very common way people lose or never attain independence is the inaccessibility of their own homes. Think about it this way. Let's say one of you children is born with mobility impairment. You live in a two story home where the bathroom is upstairs. How hard is it going to be to potty train that child who cannot get upstairs? Where is their independence?
Let's say you've had an accident, a stroke or some other event has happened leaving you newly disabled. Your home was not build to accommodate you disability was it? The hospital refuses to allow you to return home because it is determined to be a "dangerous" situation. The hospital wants to admit you into a nursing facility.
In 2006, (I know that's three years old, so you can bet the number is higher now) Franklin County Office for the Aging estimated that approximately 120 people were in danger of being placed in a nursing facility if modifications could not be made to their homes. Wow, that breaks down to 10 a month and that's just in Franklin County.
Issues like these happen all the time and it usually always comes down to one thing-money. I don't know many people who have spare cash to slap up a few ramps, relocate a bathroom or modify their kitchens. Luckily, there is help in Franklin, Essex and Clinton Counties. That help is a federal grant called Access to Home. Let me say at the get-go that this is not "our" grant. Our role in process is to visit the homes, and after consultation with the homeowner, provide recommendations for the necessary modifications. We want to keep people in their own homes if that is their choice!
Access to Home funding in Essex County is funneled through the Essex Housing Assistance Program. Funding in Clinton and Franklin Counties is available through Friends of the North Country in Keeseville. The organizations administering the grant have eligibility requirements which is all handled by them. Tri Lakes CIL becomes involved in the process after eligibility is determined.
If you think you are a possible candidate for Access to Home or know of someone who is, give us a call at 891-5295 or stop in at our office located in the Thompson Building-the door under the first green awning closest to the Post Office.