For a year now, the effects of multiple sclerosis have made the simple process of entering and leaving her Northglenn home a tiring process for Vicki Picotte.
“It was hard to get up and down my steps because I had to lift up my walker and by time I got to my van my legs were shaking and I was exhausted,” she said.
Through acquaintances of her sister, Picotte heard about Home Builders Foundation (HBF) of Metro Denver, a nonprofit that partners with the homebuilding industry to provide free home modifications for people with physical disabilities who cannot afford it.
Workers with the Foundation recently installed a wheelchair accessible ramp that allows her to become more self-sufficient.
“I still have energy when I leave my house — it’s beyond the greatest gift,” Picotte said. “I can’t say enough about their generosity. To know people are out there who can do this for you — it’s humbling.”
The experience was a memorable one for Mike Drennen as well. Drennen with Alpine Lumber served as the project captain for the work done at Picotte’s home.
“That was the most rewarding project we’ve done thus far,” he said. “Her sister called me while we were there telling me what a difference we were making in her sisters life. This was the kind of project that defines why we do what we do.”
Beth Forbes, executive director of HBF, said that annually the foundation completes the most projects in Adams County out of the eight counties it serves. The other counties include Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Elbert and Jefferson.
“Last week alone we completed a project in Brighton (vertical platform lift installation) and conducted a site visit at 78th and York,” Forbes said during an April 21 interview. “We continue to receive application on a rolling basis, many of which are from Adams County.”
A Thornton resident received an accessible bathroom remodel by the HBF and just this past weekend, volunteers with the foundation installed a ramp.
“We know that it is making an immediate and profound impact on their life and their ability to be independent,” Forbes said of the recent Northglenn and Thornton projects.
In order to be eligible to receive modification help from HBF, the person must live in the eight counties it serves (as mentioned above), there has to be an accessibility need (such as they cannot access their home from the outside or certain parts of their home) and they must exhibit a financial need.
“In general, the projects we approve are based on timing and need as well as funds and volunteers available to complete the project,” Forbes said. “We typically review about five to eight new projects a month.”
For more information on HBF, call 303-551-6721 or visit .