RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Several times a month, outside volunteers from various organizations answer our call 12 help lines informing people about services through their specialized field. Callers usually get the help they're looking for.
In this instance, "Project Homes" was manning the phones in call 12. An elderly couple called about a handicap ramp. They qualified based on their income and because of the difficulty they were having getting in and out of their home.
"Look at those steps. Whew! Lord have mercy. I need some help," said Harriet Goodson.
Thirty something years ago, climbing five steps was a breeze. Now, it's breathtaking, top to bottom for aging grandparents, Harriet and Claudis Goodson.
"It look like a mountain. Just like a mountain I have to climb," Claudis said.
Claudis moves slowly and grips his cane and the handrail to keep from falling. He has nerve damage in both feet from a recent fall.
"Coming up is a little harder. You can fall down, but you can't fall up," he said.
Each step is painful and deliberate. The severity for Harriet depends on how bad her arthritis is and the stiffness in her knees.
"Sometimes when I go out and I come back home, your knees be hurting so bad, I have to sit in the car for a little bit before I get out of it," Harriet said.
They try to take care of business in one outing because of the considerable effort and time it takes to leave and return home for doctor's appointments and errands.
They raised 8 children of their own here and five other kids after their mom died. Harriet and her husband want to stay in their home as long as they can.
One call after seeing "Project Homes" in our call 12 center put them in touch with the non-profit organization dedicated to improving lives through home improvements. It brought them favorable results.
"The Goodsons are typical. The home is their one asset. They do not want to leave it. They want to age in place. We are trying to make that happen," said Ginger Hawks with Project Homes, the Renew Crew.