TMSG: Habitat for Humanity Capital Region builds 800th disability ramp


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– The Habitat for Humanity Capital Region’s Ramp Crew has been building ramps for people around Mid-Michigan for 25 years, and today they celebrated building their 800th ramp.

“This means 800 people and their families have freedom,” said Ramp Crew member, Judith Taylor.

But it wasn’t just the number ramp that is special, but who was using it.

71-year-old Sean Leatham has always called Lansing home, but it’s his actual home that just didn’t feel quite right.

“My porch had kind of disintegrated and I was looking for someway to get it repaired,” said Leatham.

Leatham currently uses a walker but is concerned about his future. He says a ramp would take a big weight off his shoulders if he ever needed a wheelchair.

“Getting up steps is really unsafe and difficult for me,” said Leatham.

Leatham reached out to Habitat for Humanity Capital Region in hopes to get some relief.

The crew came out and evaluated his home and situation, then approved a ramp to be built for Leatham.

“I look at it as a gift and a blessing,” said Leatham.

On Friday morning, the crew built Leatham the new porch and ramp just within a few hours.

“For me, it means, 800 more people that now have more freedom by Friday mid-day than they had Friday morning when we started,” said Taylor.

Judith Taylor was one of the original members of the ramp crew when the first one was built back in 1994 and gets constant reminds of all those years of building hundreds of ramps.

“We were just driving through some of the neighborhoods and we can drive down streets in Lansing and say hmm we did that one, oh we did that one and they’re still there, they’re still standing 25 years later,” said Taylor.

She says she loves being able to see the finished build within just a few hours and knowing that within those few hours, someone life has changed.

“The ramp provides that kind of gate way to participate in their communities that so many people have lost by being trapped in their houses,” said Taylor.

Today around 1:40 in the afternoon, Leatham got to walk down his ramp for the very first time.

“If I could skip up it or do cartwheels, I would!”

Taylor also added that the average age of ramp crew members is 70 years old!

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