Veteran's wife now able to leave her bedroom after free revamp of home

EDGEWOOD, Md. (WMAR) - After years of service for our country, it was Maurice James's turn to be helped by the service of others.

Maurice joined the U.S. Air Force during the late 1950's working as an aircraft mechanic, and after being honorably discharged, he joined the Navy for three years. Now he lives with his wife and daughter in a townhome they have owned for 45 years. 

Maurice has bad knees and needs a cane. His wife, Annie, was not able to leave the upstairs area of the house because of her disability, and family members used to have to bring meals to Annie daily. 

All of that changed after Habitat for Humanity stepped in. The organization says the James family applied for a repair program, and they were happy to help!

After assessing what needed to be done in the house, the family received:

  • A new roof free of charge thanks to Owens Corning Roof Deployment
  • A modified bathroom that replaced the bathtub with a wheelchair accessible shower paid for by the Home Depot Foundation Veteran Program and Harford County’s Community Development Block Grant.
  • A stair chair lift so that Annie could come downstairs, paid for by the Home Depot Foundation Veteran Program and Harford County’s Community Development Block Grant.
  • A 16-foot accessible ramp from the front door to the sidewalk paid for by the Home Depot Preservation Grant. 
  • Weatherization and insulation measures that were paid for by the Maryland Energy Administration
  • Repairs to the basement stairs and lighting

And that's not all the James family received! 

A week after the ramp was installed, 45 volunteers with Habitat Susquehanna helped the James family as well as 15 other families with yard work including gardening, mulching, tree trimming and gutter cleaning.

In addition to the yard work, the American Red Cross helped install free smoke detectors in their home. 

Maurice told Habitat for Humanity that he is so grateful for his new home upgrades, 

“I’d tell anyone to apply to the Repair Program,” said the Veteran. “Last year I fell off the steps after coming back from the hospital where I was on crutches. I could’ve really gotten hurt. With this ramp, don’t expect me to be falling again! I’d tell anyone to apply to the Repair Program. What a blessing!”

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