If 2020 taught us anything, it was that we work better when we work together. That was the spirit behind Habitat Monroe partnering with the local VFW to provide a wheelchair ramp for a Vietnam war veteran of Monroe County.
David DeSloover was previously in the hospital for an extended stay before being moved to Fountain View of Monroe. When the time came for him to leave the rehabilitation home due to his insurance, he couldn’t walk.
David’s family had little time to prepare as they received the call that he was being discharged just three days before he was scheduled to come home.
Once he arrived, it didn’t take his family long to realize that they needed help to make better accommodations.
“The ramp is a lifesaver,” daughter-in-law Leann DeSloover said.
Leann said that before receiving the ramp, the family had to carry David in and out of the house and scoot him around the house on a sheet. She started making calls for help in December 2020 but found that many organizations were out of office due to the pandemic.
Leann called around to places in Monroe that she knew specifically helped the veteran community. That’s when she thought of Habitat.
“Dave was extremely helpful and I appreciate everything he did to help us,” Leann said.
President and C.E.O of Habitat Monroe, M. David Graves took Leann’s call and sought out funding. Habitat Monroe’s veteran repair and ramp program only operates as they can secure funding, which is often scarce.
Habitat found help from the local VFW Post #1138, located on the corner of Jones Ave and LaPlaisance in Monroe. Senior Vice Commander Charles McCormick helped facilitate a donation to purchase the ramp for the DeSloover family.
After purchasing the ramp, Habitat’s construction crew completed the install at David’s home just before the holidays.
David has been home for three weeks and can now easily get in and out of his house.
“It’s 100 percent,” Leann said, “it works out great.”
In 2018, Habitat Monroe utilized the education platform PsychArmor to better prepare staff for interacting with the military and veteran community. Habitat Monroe is one of only two Habitat affiliates in the nation to be certified as a PsychArmor Veteran Ready Organization. Though funding and grants are few and far between, Habitat is committed to doing everything it can to help the local veteran community.
Habitat offers many services that could be helpful for those who have served, including free financial counseling through the Habitat HOPE program. Find more information at habitatmonroemi.org or by calling 734-243-2048.