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Habitat for Humanity program adds ramps to homes

For years, Rev. Robert Campbell dealt with restricted mobility in his home.

But Campbell said his life got a lot better when volunteers from a Habitat for Humanity program, A Brush with Kindness, built a ramp to his home last year.

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County recently partnered with the Marian Cheek Jackson Center to repair homes in select Chapel Hill neighborhoods.

After receiving a $25,000 grant from the town of Chapel Hill, the organization announced it will select five Chapel Hill families based on need to receive repairs for their homes.

The organization hopes to complete the repairs by September.

Right now, the organization is focusing on the Rogers Road, Northside and Pine Knolls communities, said Adwoa Asare, community development manager for Habitat for Humanity of Orange County.

Campbell said he paid a fraction of the cost for the materials, while volunteers from A Brush with Kindness provided the manpower and expertise.

“It saved us time and money,” he said.

“We had a deck, we had steps, but we needed a ramp because of our mobility. It gives us better access to our house.”

Habitat for Humanity typically builds new homes for families in need, but the organization realized a growing need for minor repairs for people with restricted mobility or physical disabilities.

Asare said due to limited resources, the organization can only focus on certain communities at one time.

She also said the program is looking for volunteers to help with the five upcoming repair projects.

“It’s community-based work, so we want people from the community to kind of chip in,” she said.

Monica Palmeira, managing director at the Jackson Center, said people in the communities that will benefit from A Brush With Kindness are really excited about the program.

“We got calls very quickly from people who were interested,” she said. “Folks are really excited about it and have lots of questions.”

Palmeira said the organization just approved the first applicant and hopes to start repairs in the historic neighborhoods soon.

“This program will help keep those pieces of history around longer and make sure they’re kept up,” Palmeira said.

“It makes the community look nice, and it makes people feel good about their home and feel good living in it.”

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