Fort Myers – May 30, 2013) – Volunteers from Riverside Church built a wheelchair ramp for an elderly Harlem Heights homeowner who sought assistance through the Heights Center’s Family Advocacy program. The Center’s programs had previously helped the woman, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair, to alleviate flooding in the front of her home.
Supplies for the wheelchair ramp were provided with financial support from Riverside Church and in-kind donations from The Home Depot. With technical assistance from Builder’s Care, Riverside Church submitted a building permit and planned multiple work days. Volunteers from the church worked 140 hours on the project that included removing overgrown trees and shrubs and providing yard maintenance the homeowner was unable to complete.
“The existing ramp had been decaying for many years and the homeowner had to go backwards down the ramp,” said Julie Workman, Chief Advocacy Officer of The Heights Center. “Because of the volunteers and financial contribution of Riverside Church and the support of Home Depot and Builders Care, she is now able to safely leave her home.”
The Heights Foundation works to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. The Foundation’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education, health and wellness, and provide the benefits of enrichment, expressive and cultural arts. The 14,000 square-foot Harlem Heights Cultural Arts and Community Center opened in February 2013. For more information call (239) 482-7706 or visit www.heightsfoundation.org
About the Heights Foundation and the Heights Center
The Heights Center, supported by the Heights Foundation, is a place for Education, Opportunity, and Enrichment. The Heights Foundation works to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. As a 501(c)3 grassroots organization, the Center’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education, health and wellness, and provide the benefits of enrichment, expressive and cultural arts. The 14,000 square-foot Harlem Heights Cultural Arts and Community Center opened in February 2013.
Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community. Approximately 1,200 children live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. Demographically, the population is approximately 55% Hispanic, 36% African-American, and 9% Caucasian. The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40% below the county average. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.