Published Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Habitat builds ramp for Smith family

From Staff Reports

news@newnan.com

Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity Inc. recently completed a wheelchair ramp for the newest Newnan-Coweta Habitat homeowner, Martina Smith.

Smith’s husband, Willie, needs the ramp because of his long-term fight with multiple sclerosis and, most recently, cancer. Willie Smith feels great comfort from having a ramp. He is now confident that he will be able to get in and out of his house as his diseases progress.

Crew leader Tom Barnett was hired to oversee the construction, because of his commitment to Habitat’s mission and his expertise. Barnett teaches high school students the basic principles of construction at the Central Educational Center in Newnan.

Construction of the wheelchair ramp spanned five Saturdays and was completed recently. The Smith family is happy with the final wheelchair ramp, and Willie Smith now has peace of mind.

“We are happy that we could help the Smith family by building a wheelchair ramp for their home. We knew that if the ramp would help the family’s peace of mind, we could not delay building the ramp.” said Leslie Merriman, NCHFH executive director.

NCHFH is committed to building and renovating homes in Coweta county. The wheelchair ramp was the first of many renovation projects the Habitat affiliate hopes to accomplish for homeowners in their geographical footprint.

When speaking about the wheelchair ramp, volunteer Lisa Geter was impressed with what was accomplished. Geter worked on the ramp four of the five work days.

She was present the the ramp was no more than building materials in the Smith’s front yard. “It’s amazing to see how far it’s come from just a frame. I feel like I’ve learned a lot too and that’s cool. We’ve had some good guidance,” Geter said.

Geter is related to another local Habitat homeowner, Mildred Johnson, and her work counted as “sweat equity” for Johnson.

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