Housing Mission completes its 400th project

For the past 10 years, struggling with multiple sclerosis has forced Bill McCrorey to crawl down the front steps of his house, then pull himself into his car.

Now, thanks to Chesapeake Housing Mission, and volunteers from James M. Bennett High School and the Salisbury Lions, — and in cooperation with the Bay Area Center for Independent Living — he has a new wheelchair ramp.

The ramp, which was the 400th project completed by Chesapeake Housing Mission, delighted the 68-year-old McCrorey.

“I have been out on the ramp three or four times already and was able to go down it and get into my car. I was able to sit on the deck and enjoy being outside. I love that ramp,” he said.

“Our partnership with Chesapeake Housing Mission is undeniable. Together, we can assist those who do not have the financial means to remove physical barriers that affect their everyday lives,” said Dr. Katherine L.R. Jones, Director of the Center for Independent Living.

Construction of the ramp,on April 5, was “an experience I will never forget,” McCrorey said.

“The volunteer team was just wonderful and I enjoyed speaking with the kids.

“This multiple sclerosis has taken its toll, and I’m not getting any younger. I am truly humbled and thankful to the Chesapeake Housing Mission and those students … for doing this for me,” he said.

Donald K. Taylor, Executive Director of Chesapeake Housing Mission, said the volunteers “braved the cold and rain to build the ramp.”

As a Christian Mission, “we believe we are called to help one another,” Taylor said.

“We do critical home repair but most of our projects involve building wheelchair ramps, giving back our clients the freedom and independence to remain in their homes.

“Making the homes of those less fortunate more livable and secure – that’s the mission of Chesapeake Housing Mission, which provides vital home repair to low-income families in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties,” he said.

Clients are not charged, but donations come from major foundations and individuals who provide funding, as well as time and talent.

“We teach anyone who shows up with a warm heart. We’ll put them to work,” Taylor said.

Clients live below the poverty level and are referred by local agencies, including Bay Area CIL. Partnerships with the agencies help Chesapeake Housing to locate those with greatest need.

“The families we have helped have impacted our lives as much as we have impacted them. We’re doing more and more each year. We always need volunteers and we always need donations,” Taylor said.

“Our volunteers often take away from the work more than they give, that warm feeling of doing what Jesus would ask us to do, love thy neighbor.”

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